Have I given enough?

Have I given enough?

Thirteen years ago today my husband and I were blessed with one of the best gifts God could ever give us: our daughter Monica. Yes, my baby is now a teenager! Man, I must be getting old.

As I reflect back on my years of parenthood, I am being hit with a reality check:

  • With my oldest son Dominic (my favorite blonde son) being 23 years old, I have had children more than half my lifetime.
  • My second son Scott (my favorite brunette son) will turn 21 this year!
  • My third son Cory (my favorite redhead son) will graduate from high school in June. Yes, sadly, I just attended my sixth (and final) “Mom Prom” over the last seven years.

As my (favorite) daughter is now entering her teenage years, I wonder if I’ve done a good enough job parenting my children. Have I given them enough of my time or showed them enough attention?  Have I nurtured them enough physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

In her March’s “A Catholic Mom Speaks” entitled “A Little More Mary, A Little Less Martha,” Susan Hines-Brigger writes: “Let’s be honest. It seems that these days we’re all busier than ever, working longer, running faster. And we’re all still struggling. How many moments have I missed simply by choosing to be busy with things that in the long run will turn out to be nothing more than busywork? Will my family remember the times they had matching socks in their drawer, or the times we played at the park?”  I can only hope that my children remember the fun times we had together!

During a recent conversation with Cory, I conveyed to him my experience of parenthood. I told him that I was glad I had my three boys before I had Monica. I remembered how I used to stay awake and wait for Dominic to come home at night when he was Cory’s age because there’s more worry when your oldest is the first one to experience new things. I laughed about how new mothers take great pains to sterilize baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers for their newborn. I jokingly stated that by the time fourth kid comes, we just let the dog lick the pacifier clean!

Just as my boys have given me very little troubles or worries as they grew up, I can only hope and pray that Monica follows in their footsteps as she matures into a beautiful young adult. She’s always been a very personable, funny, loving and caring child who gives me and her dad so many reasons to be proud of her!

Please join me in wishing Monica a very happy birthday. And, if you can, please say a quick prayer for her today!

On this your special day, I pray for you. I pray for smiles and love, for friends that are true. I pray for sunshine, for warmth and tenderness. I pray for unexpected moments of joy and laughter. But most of all, I pray for peace for you.

Happy Birthday, Monica!  I love you!

(And, don’t worry, we didn’t have a dog when you used a pacifier!)


About the Author

Sharon Lape is an editorial assistant in the periodicals department at Franciscan Media. She also researches and provides content for the popular Minute Meditations feature. Sharon is a wife and a mother of four children.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JJCP4XAEWCDRERAMXJGFAM6UWU Mrs. P.

    Happy Birthday, Monica! May God bless you on this wonderful day. You are an awesome young woman!

    ~Cousin Ally

  • Stephanie


  • Melissa Norris

    very nice article, I think the same things about my own children. Very well done!

  • Monnaleeyounger

    I loved your new ‘blog’ and pray for our youngest granddaughter to have the best teenage years possible.

  • Jpinotti

    Wonderful blog once again – this is getting to be a pattern! :) Love you, and my Goddaughter, Monica…..Happy Birthday!!!

  • Sanorared

    Cute…nice ode to your daughter, Sharon. Monica is also very fortunate to have a caring mom such as YOU!