Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Nobody warned me this would be so hard.
Growing up. It’s hard.
I watch my children change on a daily basis it seems. One entering high school for the first time tomorrow. Filled with excitement, and wonder, and terror all at once. My worry for her is being happy. Finding her place. Knowing without a doubt that she is a good person, worthy of love and happiness. That no matter who is “popular” that she is VALUABLE. A much more important and powerful adjective.
The second….my boy. Starting 7th grade. I have very strong protective feelings for him. They told us he may not walk, or talk, or thrive. And he did them all. He’s smart, and funny, and happy. I want him to see that his quirkiness is a gift. That his focus is an asset, and his contribution to this world may not be as an athlete, but he will make great things happen. He may not be a sports hero, but his life is a MIRACLE.
We watch them, our children. We watch them succeed, and we watch them struggle. We watch them grow, and become these amazing, wonderful, beautiful people. We cry when they cry. We smile when they smile. We do our jobs as parents, and we do our best to teach them well.
They grow up in front of us, and we do what we can to help them navigate the path. But that is not the “growing up” I was speaking of being so hard.
I’m speaking of my own growing up.
Nobody warned me that every success, or joy, or fear they experience would only show me how far I still have to go. I do my best. I love my kids…..but every part of being a parent shows me that “growing up” doesn’t stop at a certain age.
I still have lessons to learn. I still have realizations about myself to make. I still have journeys to navigate and adventures to have. And not matter how old I seem to be getting, there is always more for me to grasp.
I still face the first day of school with butterflies in my stomach, not only for the changes in their lives, but also for the changes in mine. Each year brings us new adventures, new happiness, new sadness, and new lessons to learn. Each year also brings the realization that as they grow, they need us in different ways, and that as time passes we get closer to them not needing us as much at all.
Growing up is hard, because what I am finding is that growing up, really, is trusting in ourselves, whether it’s what to wear the first day of school or if we’ve done our jobs as a parent. And that’s hard. It was hard as a kid, and it’s hard as an adult.
I have to trust I’m doing well, and I have to trust they will too.
Growing up is hard. For us all.