I ran across this quote in a book I’m reading called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker and it hit me hard. I used to have this quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson hanging up in my college dorm room as a motto, a mantra of sorts.
The book is about how important fathers are to daughters in their lives and as I’m reading it (mainly so I can help my daughters), I can’t help but re-live my childhood–without a father.
My parents divorced when I was five and it was bitter. My father had cheated on my mother but she had never loved him to begin with. She never forgave him and she kept him out of our lives and made it very difficult for us to have a relationship with him. To this day, he won’t initiate much (which I’m unsure why).
The book is depressing to say the least. It lists how difficult it is to grow up in today’s society as a young girl. It makes me want to homeschool again. It makes me want to move to Wyoming where my husband works in order to protect my kids from society at large. It makes me want to grab on and not let anyone else in. It makes me want to cancel TV and the Internet.
We all want what’s best for our kids. None of us want teen pregnancy, STD’s, or depressed or anorexic daughters. We all want them to be happy and healthy. Yet, we must know what they are up against if we are to navigate these waters with them.
This quote from his poem “Ulysses” got me through a lot of tough times and it continues to inspire me today in terms of my writing goals. I fully intend to strive every day, to seek out what and who I need, to find it, and not to yield until my dreams are accomplished. This is what I want to impart to my kids. Life is what you make it. You live life not life living you. You hold the power of change. Don’t ever forget it.