Being a parent is a wonderful experience. Being a parent of six girls however rewarding, can and will create exciting challenges every minute of every day. The main hope and wish I had as a father was for our daughters to grow up to be at least decent human beings. Their successes, although hopeful, we’re not as much a factor to me as their happiness in this world and being very good, respectful human beings. I wanted them to honor all that treat others as you would want to be treated stuff, but even better than I was forced to act as a child. That is very difficult to see this day and age, and seems pretty rare.
I get tired of hearing this generation is this or this generation is that, and kids today have changed so much. It is such a bad argument in my opinion. Kids had to change. Times have changed so they had to adapt to those changing times to survive. For every kid someone calls lazy or disrespectful, I can find one who works two jobs and goes to school full time. They are out there but most people are too quick to put a label on a generation for a lot of things we failed to teach them. There are bad apples in every era, so let’s not label a generation for those few but for those that adapted and pushed forward to do good.
My daughters had every excuse under the sun to turn out bad. As parents, we put them against ridiculous odds and set them up for failure. I am not proud to say that, but these six chicas really succeeded against all odds and I could not be more proud.
Let me explain what I mean by that last comment. All six of our girls are the product of broken homes. Nancy and I divorced our exes to be together. We did this while four of our six were teenagers and already thought the world and Mother Nature were against them because of the emotional and biological changes going on with their minds and bodies. Needless to say these were very delicate times and issues were not always handled properly. Feelings were hurt, things were said and done, and some of them thought we had betrayed them, so basically lives were shattered for a moment in time. As if that wasn’t bad enough, throw in the fact that we didn’t always act like adults with our exes, didn’t take the girls feelings into account as much as we should have, and then topped it off with mixing two cultures together, and we had the recipe for certain disaster.
In the beginning things didn’t go well! That is an extreme understatement. The shit hit the fan big time. Our oldest graduated from high school and moved out as quickly as she could, the second oldest didn’t talk to us for almost two years, and number three proceeded to get pregnant! What a welcome to family life at the new Casa de Swain. Our younger three seemed to be doing pretty well and we did our best to keep them with us as much as we could and show them love from both of us.
These were very difficult times and we all could have called it quits and given up, but we couldn’t give up just yet. Love and caring paired with great answered prayers from God above, and little things started to fall in place to bring us all back together stronger than we could have ever been. We wanted the girls to know we have unconditional love for them no matter the circumstances, that we wanted and needed them, and wanted them to be with us. Nancy and I immediately stopped talking about the exes in front of the girls so they could form their own opinions of why changes were and needed to be made. Those things just seemed to work themselves out. Couple that with spending time together and getting to know each other to realize we are all pretty wonderful.
Now we still had to deal with a teenage pregnancy, and it sure isn’t like any of those lifetime miracle network shows. Things quickly and heatedly blew out of control. Once again many prayers, tears, sleepless nights, and tongue biting was involved. Eventually love and caring will always win out. We never gave up, we prayed, we prayed, we prayed, and we prayed, and we showed love and genuine concern wherever we could.
I am very happy to say our girls are not a burden on society, and are all pretty decent human beings as of this moment despite all the adults in their lives who tried to do to our best to mess it up.
Our oldest runs financial institutions in Orlando, Fl. Number two (that sounds funny) got married to a guy I approve of (kind of), is going to college and works full time for a group of attorneys. The third in line gave us a beautiful grandson, graduated college, and continues to go to school working toward another degree while working full time as a nurse for a private practice. Lucky number four works at a sandwich shop and goes to college while she takes care of her grandfather. Number five recently got married, and gave birth to our second gorgeous grand child and is beginning to go back to school while looking for employment. The baby of the group graduated high school last year and moved in with one of her sisters to help take care of the house and the baby while she is at school and work.
So, as a parent, I can joyfully say I am very proud of my girls, and the fact they never used excuses to not succeed and continue to be decent human beings!
And they did it AGAINST ALL ODDS!