Parenting is scary and don’t let anyone ever tell you different. We all come into it in our own way but once we’re here we are all pretty much looking around thinking okay now what? From the moment you bring a baby home it’s a series of trial and error. Why is this kid crying? Has he had enough to eat? Does he have gas? When will he sleep? Why won’t he sleep?
Then it’s onto the: ugh what is he putting in his mouth? Oh no he just bumped his head. Oh please don’t touch that. In between all the “No don’t do that’s” are laughs, giggles and tons of smiling. There are many nights in those first stages that you lie in bed at night thinking: Do I even have a clue what I am doing?! Trust me. You do. You’re doing a better job than you think.
Slowly the days turn into months and the months somehow quickly turn into a year. Where did that year go you think to yourself? After that the years seem to literally fly by at a pace faster than any parent would want or wish for. My oldest is five and while I realize that this is not old, I can tell you the past five years went by in a blink.
I hear all the time how the teenage years are difficult, not just difficult but more trying than any age we have faced up to that point. You know something? I believe it. The teenage years frighten me more than the thought of impending labor ever did. The thought of my boys slipping away from me in the ways I take for granted daily now does not sit well. My boys are constant cuddle bugs. They want hugs and kisses and they WANT to talk to me. They WANT to tell me every little thing about their day from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed. I know who all their friends are. I know who their friend’s parents are. I know what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know where they are ALL THE TIME.
The very thought of wondering where they are or who they are with is nerve wracking. I turn on the news in the morning and it’s constantly filled with stories about kids who have gone missing or died from a drug overdose. I find myself looking at my boys innocently playing with trucks on the rug while I make pancakes and I think why do things have to change? Why can’t we stay in this little bubble forever?
Knowing that I have to let them out into the world is a reality. Trust me I know. The last thing I want to be is one of those helicopter mothers. The last thing I want to do is drive my boys away. I know that I have been able to find the balance up to this point. I have been able to allow my boys to try small things on their own that allow them to feel some freedom. I have watched as my five year old has had his feelings hurt and prevented myself from butting in. After all he needs to learn how to stick up for himself. I have looked on as my two year old attempts to walk down the last three steps himself. I hold my breath and watch as he does it each and every time.
I know with each passing year what we have now will change. I can only hope that it will change in ways we are all okay with. I will stay determined to raise two boys into men who make this world a better place. I will continue to raise two boys into men who treat everyone they meet with respect. I will continue to encourage them to talk to me even if that means 18 stories about a butterfly in a hour. I will continue to be the best parent I can one day at a time, and as I do that I will take it all in. I will hold onto the hugs for as long as I can. Like I’ve said before the days can be long but the years…the years seem to go by in a blink. Parenting is not easy. No one ever said it would be.