“And Then There Are The Other Heroes”

There are many heroes out in the world today keeping us safe, taking care of us and trying to keep life going, yet I believe there is another hero we don’t give credit to and that’s our children.

The definition of a “hero” is: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

And I admire my children, your children and the youth of the world who are living through these uncertain times right along with us. They are heroes as well.

They’re quarantined home just like the rest of us, they can’t see their friends or family, they can’t go to school and for some, there will be no senior class trip or high school/college graduation. Imagine what they’re feeling and thinking. Imagine how WE would feel at that age.

I look at my 18 and 22 year old in amazement. I’m empathetic and can feel what they’re feeling and think to myself that I would have gone crazy at that age being stuck in the house with my parents and siblings! It truly would have driven me out of my mind. Yet here they are, just like the rest of us: quarantined.

None of us have ever seen something like this in our lifetime and I hope that we never do again, but here are our children. They’re young with an entire lifetime ahead of them and look at their lives now. They’re quarantined just like the rest of us, but the difference is we had that life and freedom at a young age and right now they don’t. As adults we can sit here in quarantine and wonder what life will be like after it’s over. They are just beginning their lives, thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, or where they want to live. They’re looking and planning towards a future that is uncertain. Imagine all those thoughts that go through their minds. I imagine them when I see that look of boredom on their faces, or the sadness over not seeing their friends. I imagine them when I talk to my kids who live across the country and can hear the sadness in their voices or a tone of disappointment knowing that the life they started on their own is all changed. All of them were laid off from the jobs that they loved because of the quarantine. They all comply with the orders that we’ve been given, including wearing gloves, masks and social distancing. I have to say, it breaks my heart to see pictures of my kids wearing masks. 

I love my five children with all that I am and when this quarantine starts to get to me or they start to drive me crazy I remind myself of how it must feel for them. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel so bad for me and I understand about their bad days because I remember all the fun and freedom I lived through as a teenager, the times that they can’t right now.

My kids are handling it better than I would have expected. They’re constantly watching out for me because I’m “high risk” and there are days they put my well-being above their own. They’re making the best of this quarantine and doing what they can to laugh, smile and have fun together…and they even include me!

I have to believe that they’ll come through this stronger and with an even deeper gratitude for freedom and life than they had already had.

There are many people out there that are “heroes,” and I count my kids among them.

Here’s to my five kids, your kids, and the youth of the world: “Thank you for handling this as well as you are. I know it’s not easy, but thank you for doing what needs to be done. You are my hero!”

In the end, we’re all heroes for staying home and saving lives by doing so.

Hang in there…you’ve got this!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~your_custom_beautiful_quotes_here (1)

“A Song For My Children”

It’s a snowy day here at the Jersey Shore and as I sit here watching the strong winds blowing the snow sideways I find myself thinking of my children.  I’m feeling a bit nostalgic in remembering five young kids growing up together in a big house with their mommy and daddy. And I’m feeling a bit sad that as the years marched on, the house would be gone and so was the family that they once knew. I’m sitting here and wondering how all those tumultuous years affected them. They all have such different personalities and what bothers one doesn’t bother the others.

I’ve watched them grow up and move on and can see where some resentment still lies in the minds of my two oldest, the ones’ who remember the most. I also believe that the changes in our lives were meant to happen; the changes may have been difficult at the time, yet they allowed us all to find a new, more peaceful life.  At least that’s what I hope and what I believe.

Life and the experiences, good and bad, that come with it are lessons for each one of us. Even at my age I’m still learning and growing and I can see that my children are as well. They’re learning to handle their own difficulties and solve their own problems. They’re learning, and at times the hard way, that it is their choice to be happy and grateful for each day of their life or to sit in discontent and lay blame on everyone else. They’re learning to take accountability for their life and their behavior.

I’ve tried to teach them to believe that “while life isn’t perfect, it’s perfect for them.” I’ve tried to be an example of strength and the power of positive thinking; of being grateful for everything that life hands you; and that every new day is a chance to do it better than the day before.

I wrote a story in my book, “Waking Up” called “A Letter to My Children” and it’s just that…a letter written to them from a mother’s perspective, yet it could also be from a father’s perspective as well. For anyone that’s raised a child, or loved a child as their own, the story is for you, as well as this song I wrote: “Dear Children.” I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Love Them Enough To Let Them Go”

Two of my children moved across the country, and people always ask me how I manage missing them and not having them home for every holiday. My answer is this: I love themkids1 enough to let them go.

I’ve learned a thing or two raising five kids in the last 28 years and learning to let them go without a struggle, or  too many tears, or guilt is one of the biggest ones.

No one said it was easy, but it does get easier as you learn how to do it and I’ll tell you this, my kids are thankful that I’ve learned how to do it. My one son told me that he couldn’t do “at home” what he could accomplish across the country. He told me that the best thing I did for him was to let him go and do it on his own. And he did, and I’m so proud of him for it.

What I had to learn is that as much as I want to protect them and shelter them from the craziness of the world, I can’t. They’ll never learn what they need to learn; they’ll never make mistakes that will become valuable lessons for them; and most importantly, they’ll never learn how to stand on their own and be strong.

I realized that I had to learn from my own mistakes and I shouldn’t interfere with their free will to do the same. It’s a simple concept, yet hard to do, but if you truly want the best for your child, you have to love them enough to let them go. And trust me, they always come back.

It’s a funny thing: love travels across the miles with them, and their love for me travels back. Love can’t be taken from them, love goes with them.

I didn’t learn this lesson overnight, as my oldest son would tell you, but as the years passed my faith in them increased. I knew I had taught them right from wrong, and one day they’d have to take all I taught them and do it on their own. And I’m proud to say that they’re all doing pretty well!

I see so many parents struggle with letting their kids go, enabling bad behaviors, doing everything for them that these kids grow into adults who don’t know how to do anything for themselves. They don’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry; they don’t know how to battle their own demons because someone does it for them. They don’t know how to grow up because someone won’t let them. They don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions because someone is always making excuses for them.

And that’s the worst thing you could do to your child.

kids2I’ve been a mom for almost 28 years and have loved every minute of it (well, most every minute of it!) It was so much easier when they were younger and thought everything we said was truth; when we could simply kiss a boo-boo and make it go away; that loving them was enough for them.

And then they grow older and challenge what we say; broken hearts replace simple boo-boo’s that we can’t kiss away; and loving them suddenly doesn’t seem like enough. They want our love, yet they also want the freedom to live their life the way they want to, not the way we had hoped.

They want the right to do it on their own, learn their own lessons, and make their own mistakes, and if you can’t love them enough to let them go, they’ll do all those things but come crying back to you to fix it when it goes wrong…and you can’t do that. Why?

Because then you become an enabler, and an enabler does so because they can’t control their own life, and if you really love your child, why would you enable them? Why would you enable their bad behavior? Why would you enable them to stay dependent on you?

I know, it’s a slippery slope, but I know from my own experience as a parent that the best thing I could have ever done for my kids is to “love them enough to let them go;” love them enough to live their life the way they want; love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

I miss my  three older kids who are scattered throughout the country, but I know they’re happy, living their dreams, and doing well. And isn’t that what any parent wants?

I’d rather take the hurt of missing them than put guilt on them for living far away.

As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.

And they were very happy that I was the kind of mom who could “love them enough to let them go.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Then and Now”