Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Measure of Success

My family is f***ed up! That's how it appears at a quick glance. 2 kids over 18, with no diplomas or GED's. One's pregnant, and unmarried of course. For good measure we invited her 20 y/o boyfriend to live here. Ahem, then there's my 16 y/o son, who excels at music, and skateboarding, but not academics-not in the traditional sense anyway. The youngest, he is a real gem, extremely smart, but extremely immature, and has terrible work habits.

We're broke. Yes we are. Oh we're getting a little better. I actually have a little money in the bank, and a little money in my purse right now, and a stocked pantry. But, we are still living on a shoestings. Various unfinished projects taunt me around my house every day. They mock my and my husband's inability to budget, mend, and maintain. We have a somewhat messy home as well. But in our defense, we do live here.

But are we really that much of a mess as a family? The kids, they do care about each other. They would defend each other against any adversary. After all, kicking each other's butt's is an earned family right, not something just anyone can do! And the kids care about my husband and me. We see this in small gestures from time to time.

My husband and I are best friends who enjoy spending time together. In this world, that doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. That's got to count for something. And our romantic life is alive and kicking.

Each of us, in my little lion pride has our own strengths. These atypical aptitudes rise up now and then when least expected, instilling a little glimmer of hope, that I am not a failure as a parent. I keep telling myself that life is a journey, not a day trip. The end result is what matters most. Some of the most successful people I knew as teens or young adults are not happy, or not stable. I remind myself of this whenever I am feeling inadequate.

Call these excuses, delusions, folly, but who is to say what success really is, and with what yardstick we may measure it? It's not that I set the bar low, but that I allow it to rise and fall as a means of survival. And that, in the end, is the goal of this game we call life.