A few months ago, I was granted custody of my niece (Gwen Thaler). I have no children of my own, so this is my first experience with being a parent. It has been an exciting time in my life. The main things I learned about myself are I tend to act like a helicopter parent and how making sacrifices changes my view of things.
The first thing I discovered is I am a helicopter parent. Gwen was talking about going to college and I made a remark about taking classes with her. I do love taking college classes and learning new things. Gwen said, “That would be embarrassing.” I have to admit, she has a good point. I would not have been happy if my mom was following me to college as a young adult.
A few days later Gwen made a comment about getting a job after high school. I immediately pipped in and said I will get some applications, help her complete the forms, and even help with the interview. Gwen just looked at me and said she could do it herself.
I need to be willing to let her do things without interference. I can give advice when needed, but I should not do it for her. Gwen is a very capable person.
The second thing that I discovered was the amount of sacrifices I need to make in order to care for Gwen. I sacrifice my time and money, just to name a few things. I knew there would be sacrifices, but I didn’t know how it would affect me.
I am willing to make these sacrifices, because I love Gwen. She is the most important person in the world to me. Each sacrifice I make only makes me love her more.
In the two months of being Gwen’s legal guardian, I learned a lot about myself and I love Gwen more than ever before.