We want the most for our children.

Of course we do.

The minute they are placed in our arms, we want to pave the way for them. Make everything ok for them. Protect and shield them from the harshness we know awaits every human being on the adventure called their Life.

But we can’t.

Of course we can’t.

I suppose it starts with the first immunization shot at the doctor’s office when they are so, so tiny and new to the world.

I cried as my son cried when the needle poked into his fleshy little thigh.

There was nothing I could do but hold him, love him and wait for both our tears to dry.

We can’t protect our children and we can’t give them all we wish we could.

I suppose that’s a good thing.

Children who are given everything and insulated from the consequences of their own actions and/or the world usually don’t make for the most pleasant, productive or even happiest of adults.

But of all the things I can’t give my children, there will forever be one thing I regret. One thing I am quite sure will pain me til the day I die.

I was reading an interview with Patti Scialfa, the wife of rock star Bruce Springsteen. She said no matter how old their three children get, they still don’t like to see her and Bruce engage in “PDA.” She said, I just tell them,

“Hey, one day you are going to be happy to know your parents really loved one another.”

Ouch.

I don’t know what my children feel or think in regards to me and their dad. We talk about their father’s behavior very little. The drunk, angry elephant in the living room. There have been snippets of conversations. Or should I say “monologues” because it was mostly me trying to at least acknowledge what was going un-acknowledged. I have never put my husband down, called him names or drug my children into the ugliness and complexities of their parent’s marriage but in the 20+ years we’ve been “doing this,” I couldn’t allow his behavior to go unchecked. I had to at least say, at some point,

“Hey. This is not how you treat your family or spouse.”

I can’t give them two parents who love each other.

The best I can do it seems is to give them a mother who doesn’t hate their father.