Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Always a parent

I was so young when I became a Mother.  I loved my little baby so much!  And, each one thereafter....I loved all three of them more than my own life.  I've loved every age and every stage.  And, now they are all grown.  But, for me they are still my "babies".  Once you become a parent, you are always a parent.  

Time marches on and our kids grow up.   When they were little, did you think about how they would interpret their lives after they grew up?  I never really did think about it, if I had, I wouldn't have ever yelled at them (or would I?).  I just did the best I could do.  I used to say to my oldest "I'm not going to therapy with you when you grow up!".  What I meant by that is that it always seemed to me that the therapists in the movies would begin with, "tell me about your Mother."  Why always the Mother?  Well, he turned out wonderful and didn't need therapy after all.  Sigh of relief.  

My kids are all grown ups.  They all have lives of their own.  They have made lots of choices that I completely agree with and there were choices that I did not agree with.  Sometimes I was right and sometimes they were right.  And, through it all I continued to love them with all my heart.  Even in anger, I love them.  (whether the anger was mine or theirs)  

Don't even get me started on WORRY.  I don't think I will ever stop worrying about them.  Whenever anything seems wrong, I worry.  When my daughter was 17, she told me that she wasn't going to live a long life.  Shocked, I asked her why she would say such a thing.  She told me she had a dream that she died in a car crash at 27.  Well, guess what.  Ten years later, I remembered those words that she had long forgotten.  I worried for an entire year when she was 27.  (she's 31 now and still kicking).  In fact, I acted like a crazy lady insisting that they didn't drive to San Francisco for New Year's Eve.  It was rainy and it was so close to the end of that miserable year.  Well the "year" wasn't miserable, but I kept that "weight" of worry all the time.  It seems really silly to me now.

I talk to my friends and it seems the same for them.  We are still parents.  Forever.  Maybe we can't tell them what to do anymore, but we still care about every little thing.  My granddaughters are convinced that their Dad still has to do what I say...but, believe me, it's not true.  

When our kids have hard times, it takes a real toll on us.  A dear friend of mine has had a really tough time of late.  She has had to stand by helplessly as her own child, now also a parent, has struggled with some tough decisions.  I'm not sure that her daughter even realizes how hard it's been on her.  Our hearts can still be broken.  

And, then there is joy.  My daughter came over today.  For no reason whatsoever.  She has moved away (she used to live next door to me until just a few weeks ago).  It was the first really sunny day in a long time and we just sat out on the deck and let the sun beat down on us.  I made her lunch and we talked about little things.  I showed her the crafts I am working on and she says that she wants to make them too (the best compliment ever).  And, now, my precious girl is going to be a Mommy.  I bought her a little outfit that says "I love my Mommy" for the baby.  It was hanging on the back of the front door in their house.  And, now it hangs in the hallway of their new house.  

Yes. Time marches on.  And now, she will be a parent....forever.

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