Friday, October 3, 2008

"B"

B is my daughter. that is what her nephew calls her. she is 22 and still lives at home for the most part.

like most girls her age, she has gone through a lot of boyfriends. i notice that a lot of girls do this and it seems to be no problem for them. i am not trying to sound prudish, i mean i did "come of age" during the sexual revolution for crying out loud. but in my day, when you got a rash you went and got a shot. nowadays, gas won't kill what's out there. they just seem to have no fear.



i have always tried to be very honest with B. actually with both of my kids. i feel that they need to know that there is someone in this world that will always tell them the truth about a situation. while i haven't always been successful, i do have a pretty high rating in this area.



so she keeps getting these deadbeats. no job, no house, couple of kids, usually ex-girlfriend, you get the picture. she just jumps right in with her whole self. i have talked until i am blue in the face. "Don't get intimate right away", "don't tell your whole life story", "ask more questions up front", "date for goodness sake!!" all to no avail.

i finally decided on a different tactic. i told her about the lineup. where he is in the lineup and where she is in the lineup. while this is not a scientific observation, it does give her a starting point. here is how the line up works: she is the baby. therefore, she is "spoiled". she is used to a lot of affection and to getting her own way. poor hubs needs CPR if he is left alone with her too long. she doesn't through tantrums, never did. mom doesn't tolerate that but she did get her own way quite a bit.

being the baby, i advised her not to date a boy who was also the baby or an only child. they both want the same things and are unwilling to give enough to the other. this was proven true in her case. don't date the middle child. usually too many hangups. date the oldest. they are used to taking care of the others and can give you the attention you need.

she actually listened and started to observe how these guys acted based on their line up. usually i was dead on. brownie points for me. did this last? noooooo. was i surprised? noooo

this last guy was definitely to good to be true. at least to her. i saw red flags everywhere. but some things you just have to learn on your own. turns out he is looking for a maid he can man handle in public. i told her any man that touches her in public knowing it will make her uncomfortable, doesn't respect her. so she is breaking it off. good for her.

i keep telling her it is no big deal to be without a man. it doesn't make her any less of a woman and she just might find out a few things about herself. i think she is afraid of what she will see.

once you look in the self-reflective mirror, you have to decide if you want to change your character or continue being the person you are. most of us don't like what we see but we don't seem to be able to change who we are.

change has to come from within and you have to want to change to better yourself. you can't change for someone else.

B knows God but has neglected her relationship with Him for quite some time. since i too have been there done that, i know the struggles she faces. i try not lecture, not to give advice. it isn't easy and i don't always succeed. she does let me pray with her which is a big deal. i have told her to lean on the Lord. that He can comfort her and enable her to make the changes in her character she needs to make. ultimately it is her choice.

i have a book on parenting prodigals that has been a tremendous help to me in this area. it has shown me what type of parent i am and how to change my attitude in regards to my relationship with B. while we have always been close, now i can pray more effectively for her and our relationship has reached a new level because she knows that i understand her struggle. i don't agree with her choices but i don't love her any less. that is what she has learned.

the book is titled "Parenting Prodigals" by Phil Waldrep. i highly recommend this book to any parent who has a prodigal child and is looking for insight. this is a biblical based book, and is very well written and to the point.

B is my baby girl. it is hard to watch your child go down a road you have already been down and not be able to divert their path. so here i sit by the side of the road waiting on her to come by and put her head in my lap and listen once again to all the "when you were little" stories she loves so much. i am now able to pepper these stories with my own struggle to deny God and how i finally reached the place i am today and to let her know i am saving her a seat.

4 Comments:

  1. Sarah said...
    It can be so difficult to find your own way. She will find hers. I believe that all you can do is be there for her when she needs you and hope for the best at this point. She is an adult.

    I imagine it would be really difficult to sit back and watch her make mistakes that you have made yourself, but hopefully we all learn from our mistakes. Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes, there are lessons in them. We just need to be able to see them.

    Whether she finds her way back to God or not is also her decision. I know we don't agree on God, but some of us make our way quite fine without Him.

    I hope she comes around soon. :)
    Inge' said...
    sarah,
    i do agree that it is hard to watch someone you love make the same mistakes that you made. hopefully, she will learn from her life experiences and not repeat too many of them. she knows i am there for her and i think for her that is the most important thing right now.

    the good thing is that she does keep me informed on the happenings in her life which is unusual for a girl her age. the bad thing is that i want to jump in and say no don't do this or that and i can't. but with maturity will come wiser decisions.

    but through all of this and whatever there is to come, she knows that even though i may not agree with her decisions, i will not love her any less.
    Brian said...
    I have been catching up reading your entries and it's a very interesting read. Keep posting.

    Brian
    Inge' said...
    brian,
    thank you so much for the encouragement!!

    i appreciate all my readers and their comments.

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