I’ve learned that being a parent means there is always something to feel guilty about, always something to feel sad about, and always some sort of feeling of loss after every milestone has been met and your child charges headfirst into the next stage of his or her life.
And of course there are many happy times and good times and funny times, just look at the last seven years of my blog, hello! 🙂 But this is a new phase for me, one that my friends have told me they are going through or have recently gone through. It’s kind of pre-empty-nest-syndrome because your child still very much needs you in almost every way. Except, they don’t anymore.
I watched my son grow and change from a chubby little boy who was curious about everything, into a toddler that could never be told “no” when he wanted to do something, and then he grew into the little boy that had to master everything himself with as little coaching as possible (insert tantrum here if you tried to show him how to ride his bike for the first time without training wheels, for example); and now he’s this tall, handsome, amazing, mature and talented young man who I think takes his own talents for granted. He really is gifted in certain things that have just shown themselves in the last couple of years, like his cartooning, his video making skills, his wit and use of language, (though I wish he would use those powers for good instead of evil LOL), and and his ability to make people feel comfortable around him no matter what their age, or their situation. He is just generally easy to be around and very good company… especially for me and our animals 🙂
So why is it, as parents, we are so excited to get to the next phase of our child’s life, and then when we reach it, we struggle desperately to keep them there or to turn back the clock to where they just came from. I think that’s why people have two and three kids, they just want to relive those special times because once they’re gone, they are gone forever.
I didn’t have the ability to give Jack a sibling, though I really wanted to, so I have to enjoy this ride fully, and that may be why I’ve documented so much of his life on this blog, I know that it’s so special and so precious to me that I don’t want to forget a single minute.
Then and now:
Jack at 5 years old: Mommy, guess what? I invented a dump truck that pushes the sand in your sandbox and turns it into…
me: Jack, honey, hold on one sec. Mommy’s on the phone.
Jack (not listening): And it turns the sand into magic sand so if you ever run out of sand this will fill it back up and it will be all clean like the beach sand, and not dirty like the sand in the woods that gets you all muddy because…
me: Jack hang on one sec… (I make an excuse and hang up the phone)
Jack: And its magic sand that I don’t have to worry about getting dirty and it will never ever run out! You just have to use this magic dump truck right here and it will push the magic into it and then see? You don’t have to ever worry about it again!
me: Take a breath Jack. Try to break it into breathable chunks of story. You’ll pass out if you talk that fast.
Jack at 12: What.
me: Um, just wanted to call and say good morning. How’s your day?
me: What’d you do with dad?
Jack: Stuff. Can I go?
me: Jack you need to talk longer than 30 seconds and say more than 2 words. Geez.