I saw this picture and it made me laugh at my own idealism!  Yes,  that was me.  I started my journey as a parent in 1982, mainly a response to an “urge”.  I did not even think I could raise children and  it was not in “my plan” when I got married.  Something overtook me.  All the details will either embarrass me or incriminate me, so I will skip that part. My loins became the channel of nine incredible souls.

Idealism is defined as, “The group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial”  In other words,  it is someone on a high horse until the actuality of participation in what they were once so sure of.  Once I realized parenting was part of my hike in this life I began to research. I read and judged.  Certainly, “I WOULD DO BETTER than MY parents”. I speculated about the outcome.  I read about styles and moved in and out of how I thought it “should” be done and eventually migrated back to the comforts of my “style”.  My style resulted in a wonderful group of eclectic individuals whom I am madly in love with.

In a confabulation with one of these brilliant souls,  the past meandered into the dialogue.  We were remembering some of the families that we were acquainted with as my children were growing up.  Some of the families turned out like the Walton’s on steroids, appearing civil and without dysfunction. And then there is our family.  We put the “fun” in dysfunction”  We are mean, we are nice.  We are crazy and we are tame.  We are generous and we are stingy, we are multifarious and authentic.  We are fully human.

The question was posed, “mom, what do you feel when you look at the these families that seem so perfect?  Is it jealously? I had to ponder for a few days.  While on a walk it came to me.

Have you ever gone to take a bite of something, expecting to savor a certain delicacy and actually chomping into something else?  Let’s say you thought you were going to be taking a bite of cheesecake and instead the palate was tickled by double chocolate fudge brownie delight.  That is synonymous with my parenting experience.  My high-mindedness regarding parenting, led me to believe I might get one thing, instead I got another.  It is not disappointment I feel.  My senses were perplexed and then delighted at the magnanimous variation.

Idealism can motivate, serve and  challenge, but the key is not to let it lead to disillusionment which can be a robber of joy and the realization that there is no equal and thus no comparison.