You might hate me for what I'm about to tell you, but I think it's in your best interest To Know. Mind you, I'm giving you the benefit of warning, a few seconds to steady your footing. When I was told, on the other hand, my well-meaning friends--men--thoughtlessly dumped it in my lap like it wouldn't boulder-crush my heart, at least temporarily.
Eventually, after Unsolicited Parenting Advice Shock diminished, I decided that although it felt better to be a blissfully ignorant ostrich, it wasn't actually better.
In other words, I've had the benefit of 10-15 years to acclimate to these realities:
- By the time your Littles celebrate their 10th birthday, they will already have lived over half the life they're going to under your roof.
- You're not raising your children for yourself, you're raising them for someone else.
There. I'm feeling your repugnance, your revulsion, your rage. How DARE I compel you to think about such things! You were fine living in the moment or perhaps longing for the day your toddler might take a first step, tie her shoes, wipe his own behind!
My morning started with a reality check--
I'm closer to changing my grandchildren's diapers than my own children's diapers.
My daughter has 179 days left of high school and dangerously soon she'll wear the face of 18. Gaze fixed on blue skies, she's already fluffing her wings.
My son is venturing into new territory--he's driving, attending a new school, and his chin rests too comfortably on top of my head. Though I hold him with open hand, it trembles. Imperceptible to him (I hope), but reverberation that rattles my core.
While I'll never stop parenting (is that possible?) I realize this phase of being a mom is almost over.
Damn. That hurts.
I'm good with that, really I am, but what comes naturally isn't always easy.
I've never been a smother-mother; this overwhelming desire to clinch the reins of time to s l o w i t d o w n frustrates me. I'm at the center of the spectrum of "letting go" and "holding tight" and I'm torn.
Maybe, at least in part, that's why God knows sometimes I need my own, front yard miniature rainbow.
So...today is "back to school" for two of my three; I will be at the bidding of my youngest who most likely has an agenda of his own. That makes me smile.
I wouldn't dare tell you how to parent and I realize every family is different, but hearing those pieces of advice years ago have helped me navigate through the years. Hold on to what helps, toss what doesn't fit and remember "this too shall pass"...the good times, and when you're at the end of your Mama-rope? The not-so-good, too.
Good gracious...I sound like a cliche! Whatever. All I know is you, like me, will be right where I'm sitting just as soon as you...