Tomorrow I will have a 13yr old. So as it goes, a few days ago I did my annual “You are the first born – we know we are making mistakes – we are sorry” apology. I do this at least once a year and sometimes it’s in jest, sometimes that is just the sad honest truth. I do it so that I am reminded of this truth and that hopefully he’ll remember when he’s thirty paying for therapy.
This has been a difficult parenting year for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I am nearing the end of my 30s and/or if I woke up one morning and realized that I was already halfway done raising one of my kids – and holy crap, he doesn’t seem halfway baked yet.
While I don’t condone 20yr olds who are not ready for a child to do so willy nilly – I had him days after I turned 25. I have to say that I miss that feeling of “hey, we all made it another day – I must be doing something right”. The sweet oblivion of your 20s. The innocence or perceived selfishness of taking as much as you give. Having limited vision into the future and dreams as big as the sun – living just above minimum wage.
I know for me, my 20s were about loving life, being responsible, but totally loving the adventure and fun of life – and that didn’t change because I had a child.
I miss those days.
It seems that I blinked and life shot forward and there I found myself – caught up in the strings and debris of Life. With each breath – everything matters. In a big way.
Every decision ever made seems to have it’s own calculations of failure or success – but I don’t have the equation to solve it. Time seems endless from second to second, yet to remember seems like a lifetime in each minute.
Time – our greatest resource. Taken for granted.
Thankfully, I believe that all things are meant to be. That somewhere, sometime in the cosmos we and my children decided that this wild ride we are on, would. be. fabulous. and we wanted to do it together. We saw it, we loved it and in turn decided to love each other.
That gives me some level of peace, and a glimmer of hope that there are bigger reasons and lessons for the parenting flops – that are way beyond my scope.
With that hope, I open my eyes, take a breath of Life deep into my chest and try again another day.
As I said my annual apology I hugged him tightly and held back those big ugly cry sobs. He says: “It’s ok mom…” in which I replied: “It’s not really ok, but you’ll only understand when you are a parent. We love you SO much and we are doing our best, we’ve never done 13 before so we are probably going to make some mistakes…” A few more hugs and I look around his room and regular ol’ mom comes back online and says “hey, let’s start this year off with a cleaner room – ok“?
I suppose some may question the wisdom of apologizing for events that have yet to occur or may never happen. I have no idea if putting myself in somewhat of a vulnerable position with my son will come back and bite me one day. It’s what feels right for my relationship with him and where I’m at today as a parent.
I have always felt that the greatest gift I could ever give my children is the ability to be authentic – REAL. I know already that I will not be able to teach them or give them all the life skills they need or may want to be their version of a worldly success. But I can be the best example of REAL – so that no matter what they take with them when they leave my door, they can hopefully feel confident to be themselves, at any age.