Children Do As They See

When I asked a woman to be my AA Sponsor, it was because she had something I wanted. It took me 3 years to muster up the courage to ask her because I saw her as so .... perfect.

My self-esteem was not strong enough early on to feel worthy of her sponsorship, but by year 3 in #sobriety I realized I truly needed her, so I asked. She said yes, and I felt like I hit the lottery. Since then, she has lovingly guided me over mountains and helped me learn how to climb out of pits of despair. She always believed to in me - she never made decisions that were mine to make. She always encouraged me to trust my inner voice.

Think: Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: “you always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it yourself.”

I was taught to take suggestions and this was one of many she offered me. I took her suggestion and love how I am able to listen to my inner voice that God wants me to trust. Not what my sponsor tells me to do. I know she would not wish for that.

One of the many things I love about my Sponsor is that she taught me how to parent by showing me how she parents. Children “Do as they see,” she would say. (And still does)

My sons were little when I started working with my sponsor. I almost immediately asked her "How do I tell them I'm a drunk?" She said, "You will know," and "More will be revealed." Frankly, I just wanted her to give me an exact answer, but how could she know what was best for my kids? She shared another wise reminder: "You will know when the time is right."

I am so grateful my children see me living life without needing #alcohol . They watch me enjoy life and tackle problems without saying “a drink would make this easier or better.”

I never knew how much I would love that.

My sons are teenagers now and they know #alcoholism has, perhaps, been handed down to them.

I have taught them what to look for in their own behaviors if they find themselves concerned about liking something a little too much. My sons know that they can always come to me or my husband if they are in trouble of any kind. I will never react out of fear or angrily judge them. I am confident that I won't, because there is an easier/softer way to respond. There is a better solution - the solutions I learned in The 12 Steps.

They will always know that nothing will make me stop loving them. Nothing.

One day at a time, I will behave intentionally knowing that my children are watching me. If I falter, I have a solution. I can own up to my mistakes and they will see that parents are not perfect either because we are HUMAN.

My children do as they see, so I will behave as God would have me be.

This is yet another beautiful gift of sobriety: learning how to parent with love, rather than fear. As a result, my children see (and feel) that love. And hopefully, they will go out into the world and show love to others with the absence of fear as their authentic selves.


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