One of the things I struggle with, with the kids is wanting to raise them how their parents would have. Obviously I cant do it all the way, but when given the opportunity, I try to. I try to do what I think they would have wanted. I try to influence them in the ways I hope they would have. But when it comes down to it, I don’t think I do enough. Its hard, trying to keep up with everything, and more often than not – somethings gotta give, and I usually end up flying by the seat of my pants, and do what I think I should in the heat of the moment, and don’t end up thinking about things until its late at night, and I should be sleeping.

But instead Im rehashing the days events, realizing I should have done things differently, swear to do things differently, and end up doing things the same.

Every so often, I catch a glimpse of them, in the kids. A certain look, a word spoken differently. An opinion stated in the same general way.

Ive heard that kids grow up thinking how they were influenced. They grow up hating this, because their parents either did or didn’t hate it. It seems to swing back and forth. If a parent didn’t get something when they were a kid, they give it to their kids, in an abundance, and their kid grows up hating it. And when they have kids, they refuse to give it to their kid, and the cycle continues. Back and forth. On and on. I try to keep an open mind with them, giving them what I can when I can, and holding it back when I think it will benefit them.

But not always does it work that way. And I wonder…and worry that everything was for nothing, that as hard as I have tried…they wont have the same influence they would have had…had things worked out differently. Its not that I think they will grow up, spitting image of their parents, but I would hope that they will share some of their parents beliefs.

I see it in the older two, some. I see the attitude of her mom in Madison, and as the grow, I see them holding a striking resemblance of their parents. I see Dylan gravitating towards certain things, and Madison liking other things that I know I havent even taught her about. And true, maybe some of it is just gender based. I don’t know.

But with Josh…a lot tends to go unnoticed.

Sure, the blonde hair, the quirks, a few things resemble his mom…but a lot falls to the side, and a lot is lost.

He never knew his mom, his dad is only someone I hope to erase from his memory, and he is basically left with nothing. Who he acts like, looks like, and maybe some day talks like – is lost on me. I try to place things, but eventually give up and say he is his own person. He takes after no one, and while that is ok, I sometimes wish I could see her, in him.

And then I catch a glimpse. A blonde head bobbing up and down, an attitude that resembles no one elses, but hers. And I think “Of course.”

I can influence him, or them, all I want. But ultimately – they are not my kids.  They might do things like me because that is what they have known for so long…but when its all said and done, when the lights go down, and there isn’t anything left, when its stripped down to black and white – I see them.

And I have to smile, knowing that its not all lost. That somewhere, underneath, they are still there.


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