Today is my son’s 17th birthday. I never imagined him being 6 inches taller than me and so close to being an adult all those years ago. I just looked at his little football-shaped head and was happy I had a healthy little boy. He was the easiest to deliver, but has been the toughest to raise. He had a tendency to scowl at you when he was just a tiny little guy and he still makes that same face today. He had colic and breathing issues as a baby, and I almost lost him at a year old. He spiked a fever and they couldn’t figure out why he was so sick, but he survived and came back from that, and walked three months late. Now he’s as healthy as they come, having outgrown all of that.
That means I have a 17 year old and an 18 year old now, and I can’t (for the life of me) figure out how THAT happened. I’m pretty sure I was like 18 yesterday, so some days I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. But I get somethings right. My kids know that they are loved completely and unconditionally. They don’t smoke, or drink, or do drugs. My son is still a virgin, and my daughter was until at least somewhere in her senior year…or maybe until after graduation. I’m not completely sure about that….but I’m good what just the info I have.
What am I getting wrong? Probably a lot of things, but I keep trying to learn from my stumblings and be a better parent. My kids are growing up in a world that tells them that jobs and driving licences are responsibility, not freedom, so I’m struggling to get them to step forward. But they’re smart and capable people, and to me that’s just as important.
They don’t have a pause button or an off switch that might give me time to figure out what I need to do to handle something, and they don’t come with a manual. I just told the d.h. yesterday that if I were to go back into psychology and choose a field to study more carefully, I would choose birth order and how no two children have the same parents. I am a completely different person to my eight year old than I am to my eighteen year old.
When I brought my oldest home, I looked, but there was no battery compartment and no off switch, so when I make a mistake, I just have to keep chugging forward and figure it out on the fly.
They’re good kids. I get some things right. I get some things wrong. If you happen to find that manual, send me a .pdf of it, would you?