This morning... after what promises to be one of the longest, most horrendously drawn out Fourth of July's in my life... I was laying in bed with my darling Vicbowin and talking out through some of the anger we had been experiencing the day before.
We had spent a lot of our time yesterday yelling at one another and, as it always does, this had worn us both out pretty good. So I was laying there, loving my girl and cherishing our quiet moment together when I had a very profound thought. (That I'm now going to share with you).
Parent-Child relationships are long term relationships. They are complete investments of our time, energy, love, and support for, hopefully, an entire lifetime. Yet for some reason we never once question whether the relationship will end.
There is never a point when we say, "I am so tired of not being loved by you in the way that I need. I'm sure I could find something better somewhere else." It's never even considered. With children you love without regret for years and years and years. Even if the kids don't reciprocate any of that love.
On an extremely basic level parent-child relationships are the same thing as any other familial or friend relationship. That is the coming together of two people in a implicit contract of caring. Yet it is the only one that we never question that caring.... or make the return of such feelings a contingent of the continuation of said relationship.
Why do you suppose that is? I've been taking communication classes at school and one of the things I've learned is that communication is THE key to all successful relationships. The ability to talk openly about every aspect of life with the other person is the ability to have a stable long-term relationship.
I think this has something to do with why parent-child works so well. We constantly talk things out! We constantly reinforce what we say with phrases like, "I was so proud to see you helping out the way you did today." We openly discuss sensitive topics like sex (and I mean.... really discuss it). We spend so much time talking about every aspect of living with our children because we realize that this is how children learn... the catch is that we inadvertently build long-term relationships while we're at it.
We live in a society where we can't seem to manage any form of long-term commitments yet we have all, for generations, been overlooking the fact that we are all in them! And we're mostly good at them.
We've been selling ourselves short for years and didn't even realize it. We all have the capability to stay 'in love' with someone for a lifetime and we all have the tools to do so... we just rarely realize it.
Anyway... that was my split second realization this morning when I was cuddling with my daughter. I am in a long-term relationship... four of them and I think I'm pretty good at them. To think all this time I've been feeling like a failure.