I think I may be in a parenting boat all to myself sometimes. Well, my spouse and I share the same boat, but I think we are sailing it on our own in waters apart from other parents.
I have a close friend who has one child in college and one in high school. She is way more concerned with her child in college than the one still at home. Her college kid is definitely one of the best people I know and has grown into such a wonderful and genuine human being that my friend has very little to worry about with her kid. Well, you know, beyond the normal mother’s worry that some asteroid is going to fall out of the sky and kill said kid if they aren’t under wing. That part is totally normal, I guess.
I have other parents this year that are hoping against hope that this is not the year that they discover Santa Claus isn’t real.
I have a mother that refuses to let my sister or I know when she is in on hard times so that we do not worry about her.
It all boils down to parents not wanting to have their kids grow up. I just don’t understand this mentality. Growing up is just a part of life. Kids find out that their parents are Santa. Kids move out. Kids go to college. Kids discover that their parents aren’t perfect or that they aren’t like parents are on TV or in the movies.
Our job as parents are to teach our children how to function as an adult. My oldest is six. I certainly miss her infant days. I miss nursing her. I miss her toddling around the house. But I enjoy this time of her life, too. I am not sure I’ll enjoy the teen years, but then again, she’s a good kid. We just might skate through her teen years without any huge fallouts. But if we do, that is just part of growing up. It is character building for her and for me. I am looking forward to her adult years.
It may sound strange, but that is what I’m looking forward to. I am looking forward to the journey that will get her to her coming of age. I will miss these days. But I don’t think that I’ll have these huge moments where I cannot accept the fact that time ticks by. That life moves on. It would be exhausting to have childhood last forever.
This is not to say that I want to have her grow up too quickly. I am happy for her to grow up in her own time. If she discovers I’m Santa this year, then so be it. If she still has a few more years of believing in the magic of Christmas then I am happy, too. I will protect her with my dying breath, but I do not want her to be protected so much that she cannot grow up. I don’t want her to have to leave for college or have her move out to her first apartment on her own and not know how to handle life’s curve balls. I do not want to be so focused on her leaving the house that I miss the time I have with my youngest’s child’s own growing.