10. They treat me with respect. They understand their children love me even if they don’t.
9. They have tenacity. They’ve been beaten down, judged, dismissed, deemed inadequate, and they still stand tall. They never forget they have value, even when others act as if they don’t.
8. They grow beyond their failures. Despite having lost what matters most to them, they continue striving, even when other people try to hold them to their past.
7. They don’t judge me even though I judged them. Even though everyone around them did. Even though their children did.
6. They forgive me for being too harsh, bitchy, condescending, scolding, apathetic toward their children…or to them. They understand everyone fails some of the time. They have first-hand experience with what others deem as failure. They don’t give it too much weight.
4. They believe in their children. They see the good and decent traits. They expect them to succeed.
3. They give their children a history. They remind them where they got their ocean-blue eyes, their wily grin. They know who their child was named for and who was there when they first crawled.
2. They answer hard questions. From the court. From their families. From the mouths of babes. Why weren’t you there for me? Why can’t I come home? Why did you choose him instead of me? They answer questions most of us would not want to face.
1. They love their kids enough to welcome them home as young adults. No matter who they are or what they’ve done.