The day will come in every parents lives where it hits you, like a ton of bricks, right into the chest.
Your child(ren) are not innocent anymore.
They have turned into young men or women who make mistakes as we do. Life has begun and they have began their journey with more independence. They dont need you as much anymore. You’re no longer their best friend and the one they want to hang out with. There are no cuddles anymore or nighttime stories.
This is where I’m at as a parent to my twin sons. They’re 12.5 and about to begin 7th grade. They’re taller than me, their voices sound like they’re 19, they have hairy legs and need to shave their moustache. They rather spend time with their friends and at their dads house. I swear last month they were playing Lego and asking to cuddle during movie night.
I guess I didn’t think about the time that goes by so quick. As i sit here and realize that my boys are only just beginning to be independent, it makes me so sad. Time goes by way too fast, and you dont realize how fast until you’re a parent to a teenager.
I drank until they were 7 years old. I functioned very well for many years. However the guilt settles in from time to time especially when I remember them as babies. My infant son looks at me like I am the greatest person on the planet. To him, I am. We all looked at our mothers that way. I feel that I did not enjoy the early years as much as I had wanted to or had expected to. I was 23 with twins, unhappy with my relationship, I had undiagnosed anxiety and depression, post partum depression and I was a functioning alcoholic. So to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. The pictures from those days have real smiles. They were my entire world. I always had them outside for walks, playing at the park, watching their favorite movies and even playing music and dancing. But my mental health had me very impatient and overwhelmed at times. I wish I had stopped and smelled the dandelions when they used to pick them for me, a little longer. I wish I had let them play at the park a little longer instead of wanting to go home and open the wine. I wish I had known that it was okay to ask for help. I wish I had not been so strict when I could have been more lenient. I wish I wasn’t so crabby in the mornings because of my hangover. I could say I wish, a million more times but it wont turn back time.
Somehow the years, the days and hours go by and they’re young people. They’ll hurt your feelings. They’ll make you cry in your room and you’ll try to be as silent as you can. They’ll go somewhere overnight and not want to come home. They’ll be mad at you for saying no and setting boundaries. They will get caught in a lie, and try to cover that up.
All I can do is stay sober, and continue to be their parent first, a friend later. I’ll pray for them as I always do, and I’ll remind myself that they do love me. I’ll remind myself about the times they have spoken at my yearly cakes, and cried during their speeches. When I got married a year ago, they cried when I came down the aisle. When their baby brother was born 4 months ago they thanked me for the best thing that’s happened to our family. I’ll remember.
I’ll remember because it’s the good times that make everything worth while. Every family, every couple, every relationship goes through times of hurt, sadness and even anger. Remember why you love eachother, remember that you always will, and it will work out.
Remember that little moments matter the most. The dandelions they once picked turn into necklaces and charms at Christmas. Remember the rules they get mad at following have kept them safe. The manners you teach them have made them polite and respectful. You may not get cuddles but you’ll get a sweaty hug. The hand drawn pictures turn into text messages and emojis.