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Never say, "I can't"

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My beautiful children, ages 3 and 5, are going to have a different life than my siblings and I. We four were raised in a very different environment, crushed by the harrowing effects of divorce and abusive speech. I can't blame my mother, because that is all she herself knew from her childhood. My goal is to reverse the cycle. To instill confidence, determination, and above all, eradicate the sting of self - doubt. While I know for a fact that all of us say with regard to our upbringing, "I will NEVER do what my parents did," there are many things that we truly will not do.

When my son was trying to put a toy together, he kept saying, mommy I can't, mommy I can't." I was taken aback by that, because I wondered where he learned that from. How can he feel he can't? I sat down next to him, and thought of my favorite quote of all time. "There is no try. There is do or do not." I modified it to a toddler's understanding. It went like this:

I get on the floor and sit next to him.

" Gideon, look at me."

(He does, with his enormous brown eyes staring through me )

"Honey, there is no 'I can't. There is 'I'll try', now say it with me."

Gideon: "I'll twy" (I already miss the adorable trait.)

He tried to put the toy together again, still couldn't. I then attempted to step in, but he looks at me and says, "I'll twy, mom".

He succeeded. (Proud mommy moment).

In my life, I've suffered and felt the effects of postpartum depression, which sent me into a place I was so ashamed to admit. I had no support and my mother had no idea because she had problems of her own. It's not her fault, she too was doing the best she knew how with the tools that she had.

Both my babies were low birth weight. My son was in the NICU and both had subsequent health problems. However, I said "I'll try." So i did.

Being a mom, to me, is giving to this world. It's making presidents, doctors, astronauts and future mommies and daddies.

From my mom, I learned what I wanted to do differently and my children are walking proof of the success of my continuing efforts. It's not perfect. It's not always successful. The one thingl I have set out to be in this world is enough. So, to be enough for them, I will try.

My husband and I will try to reverse the cycles that we both have had therapy for so as to understand and thus not repeat. Many times we repeat negative things we saw in our childhoods simply because we do not know any better. We both know now.

I am, however, forever grateful to my mother, the green-eyed, dark-haired beauty for the traits that I have. For the positive things I see in myself that I will pass on to my children.

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