Dear friends and other interesting creatures,
I wonder if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.
– Debra Ginsberg
4am. Nocturnal in Narnia. Fresh out the closet. I listen to birds waking up in the urban jungle, surprised that I don’t hear anything else.
A warning that the content of this post will be utterly random and thoughts will be written in a first thought, first typed manner. Gooi mielies.
My son Kev and his girlfriend Kath stopped in today. Yay! Love a visit from my (older) kids cause it meant they purposefully came to see me. It was their choice and they chose to spend time with me!
I sound like my Ouma Chrissie.
When your kids are small they hang onto your leg, usually making annoying demanding type sounds that if you remotely honest, can be very irritating. You can’t even go to the bathroom alone. Somebody is always knocking on the door!
Then they grow up and you want to hang onto their leg… Soon they will need to take you to the bathroom, telling you not to lock the door because you are old and may forget where the hell you were going or lose the ability to unlock a door. Oh and when you take forever in the bathroom cause your legs have lost all feeling, somebody will be knocking on the door asking if you are okay. See the circle here?
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how utterly disillusioned and remarkably weird “empty nest syndrome” is? It’s a thing! It leaves you questioning what you suppose to do with yourself now? What will you do with all that glitter you have left over from when you use to write them cards and letters for Valentine’s Day, Easter or cause it’s Tuesday and you feel really bad about your post work, pre dinner meltdown the night before?
Besides my last wedding when SirNoid and I eloped, one had to attend preparation meetings with either a minister or counsellor before the church would marry you. It clearly was waisted on me and various grooms looking on how well it all worked out.
When you have a baby some useful, tired looking mom will give you a book “What to expect when you expecting” and there are classes on offer to teach you how to breathe. I’m more of c-section, prescription meds kinda girl and got breathing down fairly early in my life, so I chose to skip the classes.
Nobody hands you a book, offers you a class or even checks your breathing when you children grow up, leave home and make their own way in the world. You are on your own. Good luck! It is not bloody funny.
Yes, there are perks to having grown up children. They don’t need you to give them tea in bed, put out their work clothes, get them dressed and fed, nor remind them to pack their lunch you made the night before. The boss won’t phone you because your angel takes extended lunches. Generally you will not be fetching your grown child from work, serve them dinner and make sure their to do list is actually done. You will be able to go to the bathroom, travel as money and commitments allow without having to find someone to look after the kids. You can even go out on a school night and have noisy sex with the door open! Bonus.
As grand as that may sound, you never stop thinking about your kids. Their concerns become your concerns, their excitement, becomes yours, when they ill you will visit Woolworths and take them soup, just after buying a pharmacy of medication for the common cold … their new “love interest” becomes your research project.
You give exceptional Google.
Once a parent, always a parent. There is no difference to me between the children I carried under my heart and those who were born in my heart. I chose to love, support, encourage, laugh and hold their hands in sad times.
Loving a child is not an 18 year long commitment. It is your heart and pieces of your soul joyfully roaming the earth without the need for your permission and no understanding of your concern.
Letting go is difficult, but seeing them navigate life on their own terms is remarkable.
I wish you enough…