Older and wiser

My daughters and I were out to dinner with my father last night when my youngest threw a (minor) tantrum because our food took for-ev-er to come out. (To be honest, I was preparing to throw a (minor) tantrum myself because while the food took for-ev-er to come out, I was trying to a) keep the children from throwing said tantrums while b) not drinking the entire bottle of wine before dinner. But I digress...) As I was hoping/praying/drinking that my youngest would not throw a full tantrum, my dad looked at me and said "Ah yes. Payback. Just wait until they hit the teen years."

You might think that's mean, but quite honestly, the man's got a point. See, I was not the most pleasant person for my father to be around say from the time I was 12 (when my parents got divorced) to the time I was 22 (when he divorced my first step-monster). I sulked and cried and screamed and yelled. It was a very difficult time for me. And I now realize it was also a difficult time for my dad.

I think as we get older and either become parents or just become wiser, our perspective on our past may change. Maybe our perspective on our past should change. Maybe it's in the looking back that we can actually let go of the past. Maybe, as we get older, we lose the child's version of how we thought things should be and how they were not what we wanted , and maybe that's a really good thing. Maybe as we get older we see that things turned out the way they should because all of the joy and pain and ecstasy and devastation we went through in the past led us to be exactly who we are and where we are today. Maybe if we can forgive our parents for not giving us the perfect childhood, we can thank our parents for allowing us to be who we are.

Our childhood may have been less than idyllic, but it made you who you are today. It is in the adversity that our character is built and tested. It is in the challenge that we develop strength. It is in the saddest of moments that we can find love.

This is the life.
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