"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss
Old mothers always tell new mothers, "Enjoy it. It goes by fast."
It begins to register as they approach teenness. You don't notice it at first. . .one day, you just wake up and they're going to high school. Wait a minute, weren't WE in high school not too long ago? Then come the dances and the cars and dating and jobs and sometimes, sadly, "I don't NEED YOU!"
A couple of moms are stressing with me as our adolescents and young teens begin the long, drawn-out and often painful process of flying the coop. I've been a mother of a teenager for seven years now (and counting) and with every "milestone" you realize that it doesn't get any easier. . .you just become more accepting of the unavoidable.
My oldest child will no longer be a teenager as of 8:24a.m. on Saturday. The memory of holding him for the first time is so fresh in my mind. . .wondering what he'd look like when he grew up. Well, now I know. My baby boy is such a cutie. ..mwa. . .oh, sorry. . .
I can't believe two decades have flown by like they have. Sometimes, I wish that I could go back and do it all over. But, I reckon things have turned out pretty well -I don't know I'd want to mess with changing anything. As parents, we need all that learning and growing. By the time we get really good at BEING parents, we'll be grandparents. I'll remind myself to keep the laughter to a minimum once they have kids of their own - or at least save any maniacle cackling for a private moment, as do my own parents. (Thanks, guys!)
Wow, I gotta tell you, I'm typing this all teary-eyed and verklempt. For twenty years I've been totally focused on "raising" this person. . .okay, he's raised. NOW what? No, on second thought, don't answer that. We'll just play it by ear and see where it goes. . .more fun that way. . .
For those of you on the starting end of this process, with your twelve, thirteen, fourteen year-olds - don't fret too much. They'll still need you to wipe their bottoms (metaphorically speaking) - only the messes will be bigger and harder to clean up.
More old mom advice - the "letting go" should be in baby steps, not too much too soon. It's a hard thing to balance, and personally I find it best to err on the side of caution - hence frequent accusations by my kids of "not fair" or "too strict." Hey, they can make parental choices for their own children and be as fair and free as they want to someday. (Oh, happy day!)
But looking at Double Decades (the firefighter formerly known as Hey Nineteen!) now as I do, I am really proud of the man that he has become. I won't take too much credit - he's made his own choices and learned from his own mistakes (hopefully!!) But I like to think that I had some small part in leading him to be who he is.
And that makes me smile.
9 months ago