I have learned that it is much more difficult to parent older children, especially adult children, more so than smaller ones. I’m not downplaying the difficulty of raising little ones. Raising little ones is more of a physical drain whereas raising older ones is an emotional one. Yet, all of is more gratifying than most anything else you’ll experience in life.
I remember those days when my kiddos were little and learning to ride a bike. It was hard in its own way but mama had control of it all. When your kids are older, you must parent with little to no control over their lives. Letting go is hard.
Within one week, my oldest got engaged, my youngest went to his first prom and he also turned 17. It feels very surreal; like being in some sort of time warp or maybe an out of body experience. At times I feel like I’m hovering above my life looking down and not really even recognizing it. It seems like everything is changing all at once but I guess that how life goes, right? “Children grow old and then they leave.” -Parker Millsap, Homeless. Just sitting over here trying to adjust.
I find myself sitting in the doctor’s (ahem, gyno’s) office and waiting out my time. In my personal experience, there is usually only one pregnant woman in the waiting room at most (maybe I’m there at an odd time). This visit, was a bit different. Not only were there multiple pregnant moms in the waiting room, there were a couple of moms with fresh newborn babies. The sweet, soft, fuzzy hair brand new fresh kind. The kind you can’t help but stare at. I had one of each sitting across from me; one with a fresh 6 week old and one 40 weeks pregnant with her first child. I listened in at the anticipation, the excitement, the wonderment of the new little human coming into each of their lives. It is truly is exciting. But all I could think was that mine are grown. Where did the time go. It seems like only a very short time ago, mine were that little. I want to so desperately interrupt that conversation and look each of those ladies in the eyes and tell them to savor each day; savor each moment because before they know it, they will wake up and those sweet, fresh babies will be moving out of their house. I wanted to tell them to love deeply. Take the time to rock, snuggle, and play at all costs. In the blink of an eye that babies bedroom will be empty and their hearts will ache. Sure, as kids grow and move out, motherhood just shifts, but for a season of time, it feels like it is stripped away from you completely. I was almost THAT lady. You know, the kind of “older” woman (God help me) that likes to randomly give you unsolicited advice? I listened just as long as I possibly could stand it, decided to let them have their excitement, and go sit outside.