As I see others react with their families I reflect at how blessed I am. I see so many friends and co-workers seeking approval, love, contact with their parents to no avail. One sticks out clearly in my thoughts - the more successful she becomes the more her mother lashes out at her. It is a tough lesson she must learn. The frustration and anger have moved her forward in a positive way but with much pain. But, what I find the most heartbreaking is that no one has her back - nor her mom, her sister or to a large extent her husband. She is very much expected to have theirs.
And this is where I find myself very grateful. As dysfunctional as my parents are - because every child I think feels that way at some point - they have always been there for me. They have not always agreed with me. But, they loved and supported me no matter what. I look at them now and realize their dysfunctions are minor and I share many of them. We have a good relationship. Our visits are filled with laughter so hard my sides hurt and the tears flow. I know that at any moment I can pick up the phone and fall apart and they will just listen. Thankfully this is rare.
And this sense of holding your children I hope I have passed on to my children. I have not agreed with all of their decisions but, I have tried to support them. I have let them make decisions. Sometimes they work out and some times they fall flat. And through it all I do not say I told you so, or did you learn anything (because they clearly did) I simply love them with open arms.