Disappointment is something that drags me down more than anything. It always has and perhaps always will. I know we’re not all wired the same way, but my daughter and I can be pretty tough until we’re faced with disappointment. Then, the rug has been pulled from under us and we struggle to stand upright and save face.
The thing about disappointment is that there are so many factors at play: expectations, communication, miscommunication, no communication, hopes, wishes, plans, and the unexpected that all whirl around and somehow have to land perfectly aligned to avoid disappointment.
As an adult, and older child I used to protect myself by finding ways to avoid it. Have low expectations. Make no exact plans. Plan but include a plan b,c,d, and e… … and f. Now, as a girlfriend, then wife, and parent it’s even worse because I’ve got other beings to negotiate with.
Not just other beings but fairly volatile ones at that. We’re all learning to be a bit more flexible and a lot less rigid, but if you really think about it most of the time someone’s getting there way and some else is not. Compromise may be as much a fallacy as multitasking.
So I’ve found no answers and I’m trying to be zen about it all and I guess the one lesson in parenting, or perhaps any relationship, gay, straight, parent-child, sibling-sibling is…
I forgot to add one very important thing. With disappointment as well as love,my children never disappointment me nor can they shake my love.
They may do things that make me disappointed but they could never be a disappointment. My children will do plenty of things that I don’t love, but they are my children and no matter what, they have my love. Parenthood and childhood in some ways is all about my children testing that and myself confining that it is indeed true.