It takes me by surprise in odd moments…my girls are growing up.
It’s the little things they say, the offers of help without being asked, the putting away of shoes, the way they don’t melt down over things that used to destroy their equilibrium.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of nine year old melt downs and man are they ferocious and heart wrenching at times… but there are these little glimmers of ‘sucking it up’ that make me catch my breath and realise that they are growing up.
And then there is my ‘middle child’. He is a school boy now, and just as I had feared, he has been hard to let go of.
And the baby… he is my baby but not a baby.
And when all these things collide I am struck by the idea that one day I won’t have a lounge room full of plastic animals. One day there will be no nappies, no readers, no demands to change the laws of physics.
One day I will be the mother of teenagers.
The idea both thrills me, and scares me to death. I can not see myself as the parent of teenagers.
You know that ‘ideal family’ image you have in your mind… the family around the dinner table, chatting and laughing, you being the perfect mother… my image, however naive and ridiculous, does not stretch to the idea of teenagers.
What will my life look like in ten years time with two 19 year olds, a 15 year old and a 12 year old?
I don’t want to waste time worrying about things that are yet to come, and by doing so miss the amazing things that are part of here and now, but slowly and surely I am trying adjust my inner voice, to ease myself into the idea of us all growing up.
So I’ve been trawling for blogs written by mums of teenagers and peering into their lives to try and stretch my perfect family image a little further…
And I’ve been contemplating the joys of the days to come while gulping down the joys of the days that are here in big hungry mouthfuls.
One day they will all be grown, and it will be different, but it will be good.
Do you ever get melancholy at the thought of your children growing up?
Does the idea of parenting teenagers scare you?
Do you have an ‘ideal family’ image?