That IS How it Goes

You know that moment? 

That moment, when as a parent, you realize that your child is pulling away, growing distant and pushing the boundaries of independence?

That moment when you look down, realize that she’s no longer your “little girl”, but a full-grown human being, and she is looking you square in the eye, without being picked up.  That moment when the pain lodges itself just under your ribcage, squeezing your heart into a massive knot of “I don’t wanna let her grow up!”

That moment when you’ve had enough of the attitude and smart-mouth combination.  That moment when you say quietly to yourself “Get this kid out of the house before we both go completely around-the-bend-insane and we commit hari-kari on each other!” 

That moment, when you are totally at a loss for words, because you find out something that they’ve been keeping from you, either because they don’t know how to tell you, they don’t want to tell you, or they simply forget to tell you.  That moment when, just for a split second, your brain hiccups and can’t think – at all. 

That moment when you realise that your child, that baby that you held in your arms just yesterday– has a whole life to which you are not privy.  Not just what happens at school, but out in the world at large, you are not a player, and are barely a spectator because your star athlete has put you in the nose-bleed section – behind a pole. 

And then, there’s that moment when you realise that, in fact, this is something that’s been building for a long time.  It started the day you had a child handed to you in the hospital, and people started calling you a “parent”.  From that moment on, your darling angel worked toward that moment of separation.  Baby steps to begin with, then the tentative jog of a pre-teen, until it reached a full-out run for their life – as a teenager ready to graduate.

This is natural.  This is normal.  Children grow up – they get lives of their own – and they leave their parents to fend for themselves.  Often, the struggle for freedom is just that – a struggle.  While we as parents see this?

Our children are seeing something completely different.  Their perception of the world around them, and their bid for freedom from tyranny looks something a little more like this —->

My YoungerDaughter has hit this moment.  Like a brick wall.

And while I wish her the all the best in her endeavors as an adult – I still have trouble cutting the ties.  It’s hard to let them go.

So, I tell her, “I knew this was coming from the moment you were born.  I’ve thought about it, planned for it, and both dreamed and dreaded it through the years.  And while I’m happy and proud that you are confidently taking this moment to declare yourself……

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”

But this is how it goes.

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Twenty-Six

Thoughtful moment:  It doesn’t matter what they say, it doesn’t matter what they do, or how old they are,

 when my children fall down, I want to pick them up.

 

 

 

We’ve got more drama going on at the house, again. 

It’s not the end of the world, but it is stressful and serious, and not really something I’m ready to make public now, if ever.

Suffice to say, that parenting never stops.  There will always be times when your child needs you, either to physically be there to help, or just emotionally to support.

And it’s hard to watch your babies, no matter their age, go through things that are so painful they make your chest hurt.  You want to step in, help out, fix it, make it go away, make it stop hurting.

But you can’t.  Not always.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is hug them, tell them you love them, and that you’re there if they want to talk.

But you still want to pick them up, snuggle them like when they were little, rock them and let them cry if they need to, and soothe away the tears when they’re over.

No matter what other people say when they tell you “It’s just never going to end with this child, is it?  You really need to just tell them to grow up and let them hit rock bottom once.” 

It doesn’t work like that for me.

Yeah, I might get pissed at the things they do, sometimes.  I might yell and be angry at their actions.  But I still love them, and will never simply “abandon them to their fate”.

I can’t just leave my child, crying, hurting, curled up in a ball on the floor.  I don’t care how old they get. 

I. Will. Be. There. For. Them.

That’s the kind of mom I am. 

 

 

MY I.E.P. for OnlySon

My son is a unique child. 

Everybody says that about their child, and it’s true.  Every child is unique, and original, and has their own way to make in the world. I have 3 unique, different, special, one-of-a-kind children.  Not one of them is like anyone else on the planet.  They may have some similarities to other people, but they’re all slightly different, in some way.

OnlySon is no different in being different from everyone else. 

His teachers cannot understand this.

We had OnlySon’s annual IEP meeting yesterday, to discuss his Individual Education Plan for the year.  They had concerns about his lack of interest in school (?), his shyness, and his “quirky sense of humor and imagination”  as they so colorfully put it.

We’ve had to run interference for OnlySon for his whole school career.  Shielding him from teachers that had a problem with his “imaginary friend” Darren Dansen, teachers that had a problem with his sense of humor, or his shyness, or his unwillingness to join sports of any kind. 

Einstein himself said this:   “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

I happen to agree.

And OnlySon has imagination in SPADES.

Imaginary friends are a temporary thing, they eventually fade off into the distance.  Darren has, the only time we ever hear about him now is if I ask OnlySon about him, then my son gets a glint in his eye, and comes up with some cool story about his friend, off gallivanting around the globe.  But he doesn’t come to stay anymore.

Shyness?  What’s wrong with being shy??  I was shy almost all the way through school.  I was quiet, kept to myself for the most part, and hung out with the horses we had on the farm, my goat, dogs, cats and my books.  I only had one really close friend in high school, and I was fine with that.  I’ve never really been that fond of crowds, nor did I like public speaking (still don’t), so being shy kept me out of any spotlights (except for the senior play). 

And as far as sports are concerned?  We’ve never really been a “sports family”.  The girls each participated in something – basketball for Eldest in 6th grade, swimming for Eldest and Younger in middle school – but they were never really manic about it.  Sports were supposed to be fun, and if it wasn’t fun anymore, I let them quit.  The end.  No forcing, no pushing.  OnlySon is no different.  If he ever wants to join a team sport, I’ll support him, and try to get to as many games/matches/meets as I can.  I did that for the girls, I’d do no less for the boy.

So, as my OtherHalf sat at the table and stewed over their criticisms of OnlySon’s behavior (I’m frankly surprised he didn’t blow a gasket), I calmly listened to their assessments, turned to my son (who was also in on the meeting, it is about him, after all), and said “Do you want to join any clubs or teams right now?” 

He said “No, Thank you.”

I said “Ok”.

I then turned to the teachers and told them in my “voice” that my son responds better to positive reinforcement than criticism.  You want him to do something?  Ask him politely, and treat him with the respect that every human being deserves.  He knows his own mind, even if he doesn’t speak it out loud very often.  And, if you push him, he’s going to push back twice as hard.  If you continue to push instead of ask politely, he’s going to put up a wall between himself and the offensive party, and they won’t reach him again after that.

*OnlySon is not home right now, please leave a message after the beep, and he’ll delete you later*

I also told the teachers and counselors that he comes by this trait honestly and genetically, so we know what we’re talking about.

My I.E.P. plan for OnlySon involves more of this:  Showing OnlySon that it’s ok to ask for help, by doing it myself.  I have an issue with getting help from other people, even when I know that I can’t do something on my own.

OnlySon even told the teachers yesterday that he would “Swallow his Pride – – AGAIN” *with his eyes rolling* He is so my child.

It also involves more imagination – I want to start getting him into doing “safe” experiments, as he seems to like science a lot.  I want to try to get him interested in more books, as he loves to read, but has a limited range of subjects – maybe I can get him interested in something other than sharks, wimpy kids, and dogs that run away from home. 

Hey, he liked rockets when they went to the school’s field trips to the air force base… maybe if we blow a couple of things up… Does the air force frown on unauthorized rocket launches in the vicinity of their bases? Hmmm…

Karmic Slingshot

So, after talking about my son being sick the other day, Karma decided to fling itself right back at me.  My son calls this “justice”. 

I call it Revenge of the Little People.

Yes, I caught exactly what my OnlySon had just last week.  Except, I’m not a pre-pubescent 6th grade boy, so my voice dropping an octave doesn’t make me sound older, it makes me sound

”      “.

Like that.

Or rather, on the phone, I sound like a heavy-breathing prank phone-call to most people. 

Walking across the room is now a marathon.  By the time I reach the other wall, I’m wheezing as though I’d never stopped smoking.  Coughing and hacking is my new second language, and my children are becoming quite adept at translating. 

ack – is no longer just a phrase of frustration. 

I am a codeine-carrying phlegm-bot.

Ah, Karma…

So, if I fall silent for brief periods here, it’s not anything serious, it’s just my children’s Karmic Slingshot.  I shall return!