One thing I do know about raising teens, is that it's not easy. It's harder mentally then I could have imagined. I have memories of my Mother saying to me...just wait, wait until you have to do this...and it sounded totally ridiculous to me. What on earth was she talking about? I thought she was making a mountain out of a molehill. She didn't say it to me often though, and looking back I can now see what a brilliant Mother she really was. Considering the attitude and teenage drama that went along with my life, she coped with it all pretty seamlessly - her feathers very rarely getting ruffled. It's now though that I can completely appreciate all that she was and it's now that I understand the wonderful gift that she gave me. It's not something that you can give easily, and it's not something that comes second nature to a Mother, because we want to hold onto our babies so very tightly, but eventually we must loosen the hold. My Mother gave me the freedom to be who I was, who I am, and who I will be. She taught and guided me through my young life, until she felt the inevitable pull. And then she let go...
I am struggling to let go. I am still learning and I feel very young - not worldly wise as I would have hoped. As I imagined I would all those years ago. I feel as though I'm fumbling in the dark, and I worry that my children can see through the poised exterior. That they sense me wavering at every turn or second guessing myself. Every decision is agonised over, every scenario run through in my head a million times. Did I do the right thing? Is this best for my child? What would you do? What would my Mother do? Then, each child has a different personality, a different take on life, added equations to the mix. I worry that one day my children will tell me that I let them down, if only I'd been different, if only I had listened more, spent more time with them, been a better Mother. I don't know if I want to see into the future and know if it all turns out OK in the end or not. But I do try. I try my best each day. Whether my best is good enough or not yet, well we'll see..
My son is almost 18. An adult in his eyes, but not in mine. I have loosened the hold so so much over the last year especially and I'm really just reaching out now, holding out my hand to him, so that he knows it's still there, so that he knows he can reach out and grab it whenever he needs it, but not so that I'm holding him back. It's not easy. One day I was holding onto this blond baby boy with a great big letterbox grin and eyes that would never leave my face for a second, and before I realise how or why, he's almost grown.. One day he'll see, just wait...he'll see what I mean.
I want to be perfect, I want my kids to think I'm the perfect Mother and the hardest part of it all, is learning to accept that there is no such thing. We are all capable of nothing more then our best. I can't be that picture perfect image, with exactly the right thing to say at every given moment, the perfect house, the perfect clothes, the perfect smile. But I can be true and honest and real. I can be me and hope it's good enough, hope that my kids see that even if I'm not exactly what they want, I am doing my best. I'm not perfect and it's OK, I think!
I am lucky in more ways that I can express. I have such good kids, such sweet little people who I have made and who are growing up so fast. Yes, they are infuriating. Yes, they squabble. Yes, they can be irritating, annoying and self-centred at times...but, weren't we all. They are good good little souls and even when I'm throwing up my arms in frustration, I see the good in them, shining through. Always. I LOVE my teens!
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