Monday, May 11, 2015

The Journey Continues

by Carol

I will never forget sitting at the first middle school parent meeting and hearing the speaker, who was a psychologist, talk about how our roles were about to change. During the middle school years, he said, you (and your childrens' teachers too) will go from "nurturers to caregivers." I pictured saying goodbye to tying those little blue and white sneakers and the pink ballet slippers. Goodbye to taking one little hand in each of mine as we crossed the street. Goodbye to scavenger hunt birthday parties, and the little waves from the stage in preschool shows. I remembered riding on my Dad's lap as he mowed the lawn.

This talk was preparation for the one we got at the entrance to high school, where we were told that we would go "from your child's boss to your child's supervisor." I was soon to see all those hours that I sat waiting in the car for all of those middle school activities turn into worried waves goodbye as my teenaged children drove down the driveway. All of those exhausting (and sometimes antagonistic) shopping trips soon turned into modeling in the living room what was chosen with friends. No more times tables out loud, now an occasional proof-read. And then there was university graduation, before I knew what hit me. I can picture my parents standing in the auditorium holding my commencement programs.

And now I watch as my children delve into their employment. I hear about the interesting conference they just attended, their busy schedules, their commutes in. I see them become more knowing about the world as they gradually define their roles in it. I am new to this phase so I have less to write about, but I am thinking about my weekly conversations with my parents, letting them in on what's new in my life.

Someone else will have to write the part about grand parenting - I am not there (yet?).

More stages in our lives checked off, and more to come. Isn't it incredible the way that parenthood mixes memories with to do lists and with hopes for the future all at once? How you can feel challenged and inspired at exactly the same time? How you can be grateful and regretful, maudlin about the past while excited about the future, exhausted and energized? At the same time confused and yet certain that this is an age-old journey you are participating in.

Isn't parenthood an incredible journey?



Dotti said...

It's so true. Each stage of parenting has its own challenges and frustrations, joys and rewards. It's undeniably the toughest - and the best - job on earth. You're at an exciting stage now, your chicks are really spreading their wings, finding out who they are and what they're made of. Be proud and enjoy!

terriporter said...

I identified with every word in this post, Carol! When we started out, no one told us it would be so hard and so wonderful at the same time (and no one gave us a handbook to help us find our way). And no one told us (or maybe they did but we didn't believe it) that it would go by in the blink of an eye. My children are a little older than yours but it still seems like yesterday that they were toddlers like my grandchildren are now. How did that happen? Thank goodness for all thousands of photos that I have of them growing up so I don't forget. But as I sat yesterday with two of my three grown boys, I realized that I love this stage as well, knowing them as adults and really liking them as well as loving them. That's the reward for the sleepless nights and carpools. Hmmm, sounds like I need to write a post about this!

kelly said...

I think you described this time of our lives so perfectly's such a mix of emotions! But today, after seeing my own daughter graduate from college...seeing her so happy and excited, I can't help but feel immense gratitude and joy. Hope you had a wonderful mother's day friend!

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