I don’t check just to make sure they’re breathing.
I don’t stroke their heads in my lap while giving thanks for the temporary respite from the noise of small children.
Contrary to the unsolicited advice from so many about having them sleep in my bed in their early years, my offspring grew into big kids who love the space and privacy of their own rooms.
I do sometimes still catch a glimpse of them sprawled out or curled up, breath heavy and mind off in some other world. I still appreciate the quiet and it is still one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
Seeing sleeping children always elicits contemplative sighs and pondering thoughts.
My own kids are at that stage of being full sized physically, yet emotionally and mentally, they are still kids. Smart,competent kids and even mature sometimes, but still very much kids.
While they are under my wing, I’m grateful~ for their health, intelligence and character~ for who they are now and the people they are growing into.
But I’m also realizing how little of this I left. I feel like I'm running out of time.
My Boy Child who just turned 16, towers over me and wants to drive cars and start money making businesses that range from selling tomato seedlings to faux Rolex watches. Like so many teens, he tries hard for the fun perks of being older, but in so many ways, he wants to be a goofy child while he can.
His Sweet 16th birthday party~ a mini camping adventure at a nearby lake~ had entertainment ranging from horribly offensive rap music that I eventually had to censor before my head split open from the awfulness of it, to a homemade pinata, just for old times sake.
The pinata was made to look like a car with my son’s head sticking out the top as the driver and a couple of kids suggested it be filled not only with candy, but Ramen packets (which I normally will not buy, but they will actually eat raw.)
Since he and friends are no longer small sized, we decided they didn’t need a bat, but could instead pummel the swinging pinata with their fists, blindfolded and one at a time. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in awhile.
He will be getting his driving permit soon, and practicing behind the wheel of my well loved car~ on the real roads, with other cars. While he doesn’t think it’s necessary, as with my Oldest, I am making him have and keep the insurance deductible in savings…. just in case.
From my experience, people are a lot more careful when they know they actually have to cover any little “oops” incidents they cause. It’s one way I can help him practice responsible adulting, even if he doesn't like it. (Who does like adulting, anyway?)
Anyhoo, after a weekend of observing (and occasionally shouting at) him and his friends, I am still baffled as to why some normally intelligent people seem to lose mass quantities of brain cells when immersed in peer groups?
Seriously, there were times when their IQs appeared to have dropped by at least 50 points each and the infection spread among them by osmosis.
But, they are good kids and I know (or at least I hope like heck) that this will pass. While lamenting the dumbarsery that their culture promotes, I think hard about what I can offer and how I can package it to be of interest to them.
Thankfully, I realize I am not trapped into accepting things that make me feel bad, no matter if they are mainstream norms. I can choose what I foster and facilitate, what I pay for and provide access to.
As always, reality may not be as easy as philosophy, but I feel a lot better knowing I still don’t need to blindly submit or assimilate.
My Girl Child, who turned 18 a few months ago, will be flying the coop this fall~ heading out for 8 month adventure in Ecuador.
This is 4000 miles away.
Four. Thousand. Miles. Eight. Months.
When she was little, and we spent our days funschooling by the creek with goats, reading books for hours in bed and making food for fairy tea parties, I felt pretty sure she was getting all she needed.
She had opportunities for creativity and expression, to connect with animals and people of all ages, to delve deep into her interests, to travel and explore, to be immersed in nature and exposed to big cities, to make food and grow plants and care for creatures both very young and very old, to witness first hand the circle of life.
And I felt pretty sure that would continue~ that she would always get just what she needed. And so far, I think that she has.
But the way that she gets things has changed so much. I am no longer a primary source from which she seeks knowledge. In fact, I’m pretty sure she now prefers to get her new ideas elsewhere, and may sometimes feel she has had her lifetime max fill of “lessons” from me.
Perhaps she just would like me to listen? (poor thing has a mama who understands the concept of “active listening” but hasn’t exactly become zen with the reality of not speaking / solving / talking. But... I’m trying.)
I think these are signs that she is nearing ready to go. The time is coming and the world is waiting. As the time of her departure nears, we go back and forth with things she needs to do in order to leave her home country for nearly a year and head out into parts and situations relatively unknown to any of us.
Sometimes she wants my help, sometimes she just wants to verbalize frustrations. It’s all bringing her closer to her exit.
So I realize even more that I have this tiny window left.
There’s so much still to say, to show, to teach, to do, and so little time left.
They have already heard so much of my rambling, I fear they will be tuned out when we're dealing with something really important.
And what is the most important anyway?
Some things I felt were totally covered in younger years seem to have been completely forgotten post puberty.
Other things were never relevant when they actually wanted me to tell them stories all day. Now that these things actually matter, I worry they are tired of hearing me talk.
That leads me to repeat or reword things in 75 different ways with lots of examples and analogies and metaphors in hopes they will understand one of them.
Perhaps that just makes them block out more so all they hear is “whaawhaaa whaaahwhaa whawha.”
(Insert Big Sigh....)
So, do I just leave things unsaid? Undone? Not even try?
Not likely. That wouldn't be me.
So much has already changed and I know that soon, this season will be gone too.
Cheesy cliche or not, it's true~ Time waits for no one.
Ugggh. (I've moved on to groaning now...)
I sure hope I'm doing this right....
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