Have you ever looked at the spouse of a sibling or a child or perhaps even a parent and thought "They just aren't good enough for him/her"? Let's be honest, most of us have.
Last fall, our oldest daughter Ashley started college. She had eagerly anticipated the beginning of the term all summer and we were excited for her. But a subtle change came over her after school began. She became increasingly unhappy and Mike & I started to get very worried. Our happy, energetic daughter was disappearing and we didn't know how to make it better for her. We talked to her every day and continued to encourage her and around the end of October, she decided to move back home. We only live about 15 minutes from the campus so this wasn't a real big deal and we were happy to have her back under our roof. Ashley has always had a busy social life and had tried dating a few fellas from school but no one "tripped her trigger". After she moved back home, she got back in touch with her boyfriend from the previous year. In very short order, Ashley and Nick were dating exclusively again. In the meantime, school had lost it's "luster" and she began to think of changing her major to Animal Science. Well, our busy Holiday season came and went and around two weeks ago, Ashley came to me with some news. She feared she might be pregnant. As a coincidence, she already had a scheduled visit with our family doctor to do a follow up on a recent "run in" she'd had with strep throat so I told her I would go with her and we would get a test done. Well, the strep throat test came back negative but her pregnancy test came back positive.
So many things go through the mind of a parent who finds out their child is expecting and it's unplanned. I was scared, disappointed, nervous...and so many other emotions including "I'm going to be a GRANDMA before I'm 40"!!! One of the things that truly frightened me:Is Nick good enough for Ashley? Can he be a good daddy to my grandchild? Will he treat both Ashley and baby the way they deserve to be treated? Is he "good enough"?
Twenty some odd years ago, another set of parents anguished over very similar feelings. My parents truly believed I was making a very big mistake getting married. They were worried, and very, very frightened for me. As my father walked me down the isle, he said to me "We can turn around right now and leave if you want to" and he was dead serious. He said it to me one more time just as we reached the base of the altar. "We can still leave".
As scared as they were for me, they didn't stop me. They allowed me to go forward into my life and even though it may have been a mistake, I would do it all over again because not to have my girls in my life would have been such a devastating loss for me that words cannot explain.
And so we are doing our very best for Ashley and Nick by doing whatever we can to help them get started. But still....is he "good enough"? We had them over to dinner two nights ago. Ashley is terribly tired these days and her emotions are running high but as I was in the kitchen fixing dinner, I heard her laugh. I turned around to see what she was laughing at, and just stopped. Nick was saying something to her that she found funny but what made me stop and think was the fact that he's trying so hard already to take care of her, be responsible and make her happy. And you know what? He does make her very, very happy. Would I go back to having that very unhappy daughter from last Fall? Not on your life. So, is he "good enough" for our daughter?
Only Ashley can make that decision but you know, I think it might just be ok after all.
Until next time,