Monday, September 7, 2015

See you in September

She's starting the 12th grade. Speaking strictly in cliches, I don't know where the time went. It's been interesting recently, dealing with a teen age brain while also dealing with my own changing brain. The difference in our ages is so ironic, she is in post puberty, I am in peri-menopause. She is ramping up, I am winding down. As an older mother I can see why people have kids in their twenties. We are both working to find ourselves and there are clashes and moments that leave me perplexed and worried about the future. It's a strange time. Sometimes I look at her and see this capable young woman on the cusp of her life and other times I see my 4 yr old kid screaming because I got too many steps ahead of her on the path we are both taking. It a push-me-pull-you situation, on an Olympic level. As with other stages of parenting there are moments of profound questioning and routine attitude readjustment. A constant letting go, while still holding firm.

She came home Wednesday from her first day of school and talked my ear off for almost an hour about her classes, her friends, her new teachers. It was a welcome change from the usual one word answers spoken with an attitude of contempt.

Parenting has been a challenge for my husband and I lately but we are in the home stretch and we must stick to our principles for her sake. I can see how teenagers end up out of the house. Their parents are exhausted and fed-up and the solution seems to be to kick them out. Show them what it is like to be on their on own. I am not saying we have come anywhere near that point but I can see how it happens. I see us a bunch of birds in a small nest, she is experimenting with new things all the time and we have to be the sounding boards, reflecting back to her what she needs to know but it's not always magical or even comfortable. Occasionally one of us gets a wing in the face, growing pains, space constraints and we feel like we'll fly apart or fall out of the safety of our tree. We haven't fallen yet and ruffled feathers soon settle down and smooth out and there are moments of brilliance woven into all of it.

Here she is in our campsite at Golden Ears Park. This was our 12th year there and I was struck that it might be the last one as next year she'll have graduated and be on to other things, her things. I suggested this to her and she gave me the 5 yr old face, oh mom don't be silly, we'll do this always. A part of her wants to stay this way forever, but we both know it won't.


Paula O'Brien 6 said...

Yup, yup and yup. You're doing a good job. It's a journey. We were the safe home for various other pals who had been thrown out of the nest or whose parents had just wandered away. Just try to do your best job while holding on to your root values and lead by example, as you seem to do. The hard part is figuring out when the old rules no longer apply or need a change. That's not always easy and causes stress between parties as someone is on top and someone else is on the bottom. It's an evolution....
Paula & Dennis
Currently living without the stress of child rearing....

Rio said...

Really love this one Rowan. The years fly by, of that you can be sure.

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