Being a parent is hard. I should know. I have three little kids. Kids don’t live up to their parents’ expectations. They’re not born to fulfill their parents’ lost dreams or to make their parents’ lives better. They’re born to live their OWN lives. They need to be guided and loved and accepted for who they are. For a long time, after I realized my oldest son functioned differently, I felt lost. I didn’t want life to be harder for him. And sometimes–a lot of times–HE makes his life harder. All I can do is show him love, support, and get him the help he needs when he needs it. Kids need to feel like they’re loved for who they are, unconditionally. Parents need to be able to set aside any misgivings they have to achieve that properly. And I bet you’re wondering how this relates to “Hughie.”
Well today, I wrote for Microbookends about Hughie, whose father can’t or won’t accept her for what she is. It’s a sad tale, but someone in Hughie’s family (probably his mother) obviously accepts her for who she is, as witnessed by the objects in her room. The bookends were “play” and “boy.”
Born a Boy
“Play ball, Hughie,” Dad said.
The metal bat crashed against the innocent heads of the dolls. Porcelain shards littered the room like a murder scene: one eye, half a smile, and a broken nose.
Hughie, in her princess bed, grasped her bunny lovey as she pulled the covers up to her chin.
The acrid smell of alcohol stung her nostrils as Dad stumbled toward her.
He yanked the bunny out of her arms and threw the window open. Hughie and Dad watched as the bunny fluttered like a feather then landed on a rock below.
He spat the words. “I’ll never call you Lily. You were born a boy.”
I know my kids will go through that period where they hate me, and they blame me for every mistake in their life. I’m okay with that, as long as they know I love them and that I’ll accept them.
Here’s a picture of my three little monsters. You can so get a hint of their personalities from this. Oldest is in the stage where he won’t smile. Middle is silly. Little is sweet (and she has a sweet in her mouth too!)