Sometimes I wonder if God gives humanity do-overs. I am not talking about reincarnation; I am talking about a chance for humanity to retry it all and get it right. The people--the souls-are different--but the situation is the same. I think this could be a version of redemption--the chance for humanity to get its shit together and the chance for God to try again to work His good in the face of evil.
I have no theology to back this up and I sure some of my more Jesus-y and pious readers will absolutely think I very wrong and blasphemous. However, God does not reveal everything to us and well, maybe it is okay to wonder a little bit about the meaning of all this chaos.
Take my birth family, for example. I had really good parents. Parents who always did the best they were capable of; a father who was absolutely meant to be my father--full of the wisdom that answered my questions and left me to grow into the capable, independent, charming con artist that I am and my mother, who allowed me to lead in my very domineering way and always grants me forgiveness for my rough edges. But my birth family was not without sorrow; especially for me.
I am the middle child that even my closest friends don't think of as a middle child; bookended by a half-sister on one side and a brother on the other. I've written about both of my absent siblings before--my half-sister who is a professional con-artist and now elderly and definitely mentally ill somewhere in Florida. My brother, who through no fault of his, is gone now, forever.
My siblings were never able to give me the closeness I needed. It still makes me angry sometimes. It will always break my heart. As I get older, I've started to accept it more--no fantasies that someday I will not be the sole sibling. This is it for me and that is okay.
On the days when my heart feels inexplicably broken by a reality I cannot change; it always seems like my children jump in to show me that I do get witness and enjoy deep sibling relationships through them. That friends, is God's do-over for me. My middle daughter, born on my half-birthday, bookended by a big sister and a little brother. All three of them endlessly present for one another--even if sometimes this presence means fighting.
I take this part of my motherhood very seriously--I know I cannot control or dictate the relationships they will ultimately have with one another. However, I can nurture and cultivate their relationships by ensuring they witness each other's successes, share their failures with one another and always apologize. Parenting their relationships with each other is as important as it is to parent each of them individually.
Tonight, my girls are decorating their room for Christmas and listening to the Pentatonix. My son is running back and forth from their room to his own, laughing. They invited him for a sleepover tonight. While I've been writing, they've each been in to laugh and tell me something funny the other one did. The girls are now having a civil argument over a tree skirt.
It might take a nasty turn; but then it will turn back. Because I really believe God couldn't give me the siblings I craved; but He found a way to work His good by giving me the siblings I craved, to raise. This is my do-over.