Before I gave birth to my first child, I had a certain picture in my head. An image of what parenting looked like. It was perfect. Smooth, even lines, and elegant lighting showcased what my life would be like.
As time went by, I threw away my perfect picture. I found that it is easier to raise my children by ignoring the rules set by books, well-meaning advice and criticism.
I now listen to my gut and raise my children how my husband and I think is best. Our parenting picture kind of resembles a Picasso painting. Abstract, yet beautiful.
If We Only Knew
I don’t recall any stage of my children’s lives that were entirely warm, cuddly and calm. They all included some sort of struggle, whether it was from figuring out WHY they were crying at 2AM…….or wondering WHERE they were at 2AM.
But, I do realize that without ever having the moments of witnessing first smiles, hearing the contagious laugh of a child, cleaning scraped knees, or enjoying sloppy toddler kisses…….my life would not feel complete. These experiences softened me. Preparing me for teenage arguments, curfew rules, and hormones.
This is a viscous, natural cycle.
My oldest is moving out this next week. Her furniture has been loaded up. Her mementos, clothes, and stuffed animals are all packed away. This is her decision. Her life to lead. I support her, although I am scared for her.
With tears, remorse, anger and pride I released her hand and watched her drift off into a world…..one that I hope I have prepared her for.
Although her belongings now reside under another roof, I will never stop being her mother. That’s not how this parenting thing goes. I will never be done.
Surprisingly….I am ok with that.
Where I feel my sun is setting with my oldest, I am fighting the urge to ask for a few more minutes of daylight. A few moments to show her how to cook, how to get certain stains out of her clothes, or to just make sure she has enough underwear, socks, and toilet paper.