Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family trouble

There isn't much that grieves a mother's heart more than to have her children make poor choices or that her children are fighting with each other. I had both this week and the two are related. One of my sons is living a lifestyle unacceptable to another one of my sons, and this son confronted him on it. Now they want nothing to do with each other. Then the worst of it--I am pressured to take sides. I cannot, of course.

A friend of mine told me this happened in her own family among her siblings. A battle raged for years and years with two sisters who would not speak to each other. This caused her parents deep sadness and affected the whole family. Imagine family holidays--the walking on eggshells, the carefully chosen words each member must use. What if the family can no longer even get together as a whole? It isn't fair to the rest of us who just want peace and harmony. I dread the next few months--birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

I used to tell people that my four brothers and my younger sister and I always got along so well. Is it because we live in different states? Is that what it takes for families to be at peace? No one teaches you how to parent grown children. What do you do when one child calls you with bitter complaints about another? Little children argue, my girls often do, but those quarrels soon sputter out. I can see this fight with my boys simmering just below the surface, ready to bubble up and boil over at any moment. Unless someone can say, "I'm sorry," and someone can say, "I forgive you," (and mean it). We'll see. It's not something I can do for them.

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