Unconditional Love and Support


I love my kids unconditionally. I think most parents will say the same thing.

What I struggle with is supporting them unconditionally. When boy-child graduated pre-school, and his “When I grow up I want to be …” sign said “Batman,” I cheered and supported him. Batman is a worthy role model, wealthy and intelligent and seeking justice, except for the dead parents part, but he was young for that. I knew at some point he would outgrow wanting to be Batman, see that Superman is the better role model, and find a career path that didn’t involve superheroes.

It was harder for me when girl-child said, “When I go to college, I want to major in dance.”

I struggled and bit my tongue and didn’t say, “No! You must major in something that is going to be useful and make money.” Instead, I supported her, researched dance programs at Texas universities, and talked about the differences between getting a BFA or a BA. Inside I prayed she would find a path that would lead to her being able that fully independent, productive member of society we are charged with creating when they let us leave the hospital with a newborn. Girl-child did change her mind about her major, and I will be successful in my mission.

She wants to have a permanent ink mark on that body that I grew inside of me and fed from my blood and tears and didn’t drink Dr. Pepper for a year to make sure it was perfect. I told her to let me know when she is ready, and I will find an excellent place to get it to make sure it is perfect. The unconditional support of her decision means that I don’t have to like it, but I can do everything in my power to make sure she has the best options available.

Boy-child no longer wants to be Batman.

He has some time to nail down specifics, provided his teachers don’t strangle him before May 2024. He struggles to find his passion. He’s done baseball, karate, wrestling, art, archery, chess, tuba, bass clarinet, and many other things trying to find his groove. Currently, he is interested in tennis. Through all of these, we have made sure he had the support – through supplies, travel to practices, lessons, and encouragement – he needed to be as successful as he wanted.

He made some poor choices in school last year that required him to take some course recovery over the summer. Because of that, he is learning lessons in regaining the trust of teachers this year while keeping up with even more difficult classes. He wants to be an engineer, and I support that, despite his seeming inability to follow through on some things. Unconditional support means I provided options to assist with the course recovery and advocated for his school schedule to include classes that would allow him to follow his path.

I unconditionally love them because they are my babies, regardless of age, but unconditional support is sometimes a struggle.

As a baby-adult and wanna-be adult, they must learn to handle consequences greater than, “You didn’t remember your lunchbox; therefore, you don’t have a lunch today,” even when I disagree with those choices. The choices they are making will affect their lives forever. As I learn to let go of parenting children and learn to parent adults, I am learning that unconditional support is much more difficult when the consequences are long-term, and the stakes are for real, not just a hungry belly at the end of the day.

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Hi! I'm Jaclyn. I'm a Lubbock native and have two teenagers - one is a "baby-adult" at 18 and the other is a "wanna-be" adult at 16. I have a wonderful husband of 10 years who stepped onto a speeding bullet train going 800 mph and has been everything and more than I could ask for. I've been working at Texas Tech for over 20 years in IT in a job that would make most people's eyes glaze over, but I love it! I can usually be found obsessing over some insanely small detail or worrying about something that will probably never happen.