I know this family that is “perfect.”

Now, I also know that you may want to say,

“Oh, no family is perfect.”

And yes, this is true.

Technically speaking, perfection does not exist in nature.

My “perfect” family has its flaws. It’s trial and tribulations. It’s obstacles, heartaches and failures.

But the parents love one another.

They LIKE one another.

They are kind to one another.

They support one another.

They respect one another.

They are partners in marriage, parenting and life.

In turn, the children love and like, are kind to, support and respect one another.

It’s a nice family.

A perfect family.

Families with an alcoholic father tend not to be nice families.

It hurts me to say this:

My family is not a particularly “nice” family.

This is not to say my family is a bad family or that my kids are bad kids.

Not at all, really.

I am proud of where my children seem to be headed.

I don’t know how the scares of their childhoods will manifest themselves when they are adults but I hope they can be kind, loving, respectful spouses who love and like their partners.

But in their “family of origin?”

In the family their father and I created?

It’s not really that way.

Everyone is trying too hard to survive.

Each sibling is seen as a threat to the other. Competition for the limited resource of mom.

I’m all my kids have when it comes to a consistent and present parent.

And I don’t know that I do all that good of a job a lot of days.

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and I am crying as I write these words.

My heart is broken for the home my children are growing up in.

Never, ever did I imagine…