Friday, January 4, 2013

Letting go...

~"It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. " ~Barbara Kingsolver

 Have you ever noticed that when you complain announce..mention that you could use time away from your kids-(it can be for any they have been really chatty for twelve hours straight..exceptionally darn chatty you would like to rip your ears off ) Some well meaning person always comes along to try and shame wistfully remind you about how fast they grow  "You will look back and miss these moments!"  "Enjoy them while you can-they grow up so fast!"  As if some how- by their reasoning, you shouldn't EVER want to be away from your kids.  Never mind that these well meaning people either forget what having young kids can be like-or they struggle with dementia. The point is-as a parent of any child-you are really never ever allowed to complain.  As if somehow your choice to have children takes away the right to feel anything other than maternal.  What a load of....poop. I am thrilled that my children are growing up! THRILLED!   I think that I can speak for many parents when I say..There are days when I wish everything would stay the same, days when I look forward to seeing what my kids are going to do in life...and days where I could really use a two week vacation ALONE. There are days that I look back on with great joy...and some with equal amounts of horror. Raising four kids has been an ongoing adventure..a never ending action packed roller coaster ride into the unknown. And although I wouldn't trade it for anything-there are times when two hours by myself would be much appreciated.

  I do have many fond memories-things that I like to look back on from time to time. It can be fun to reminisce..The thing of it is-with the kids that we have and the family that we are...we tend to spend more time thinking about the future. From the day they were born-we were always so focused on the next step-the next goal. Part of that is regular parenting-and part of that is parenting autistic kids. So for me-it isn't the growing up that makes me melancholy-it's the letting go. It is just so damn hard to let go.

  A little over two years ago I wrote this post about Sam's first school dance..Tonight, it is Oscars turn.  In fact, he is at the school dance as I write this post. I needed something to do with all the nervous energy that I have.  Oscar is....he is just so very wonderful...and interesting and funny! But, he's also different.  He stims and shakes...says odd things...laughs loudly to difficult to converse with. He is who he is...and to us-that is just fine. To the world?  You and I both know the answer to that.  Sometimes I worry that by letting him just be, we are setting him up for hurt and even sorrow. It burns my heart to have to think about these things-to think about him feeling them. He is exquisite-my golden boy..and I am afraid of the worlds tarnish.

  I don't long for the early days of babyhood with him.  But sometimes, I do wish that I could hold onto him just a little bit longer.  If only to protect him from all the crap in the world. But I can't....more importantly, I won't. Oscar is who he is-and he is confident in that knowledge. Now it is my turn to be confident that my boy...this almost young man, will be o.k. It is my turn to be confident in him...and as hard as it let go.

  On our way to drop the boys off tonight..Sammy said "Don't worry Mama-I'll show him the ropes" Just like a big brother should. My boys are very close-so I know that it will be o.k. Still though-I'll just sit here and worry for the next three he having a good time? Talking to friends? Enjoying himself?  Wanting to go home?...I hate not here I am waiting...and pacing....hearing the "JEOPARDY!" theme song in my head...

Three hours later...
 Apparently Oscar now has a girlfriend.
 Why do I do this to myself?
 I could really use a vacation ...alone.


Kim Wombles said...

Hah! That's awesome--a girlfriend! :)

farmwifetwo said...

I started leaving when my eldest was 6 - he's now 13 - to visit online friends from an old author's board that no longer exists. I'd go about 5 days and my Mother came. I've been to Boston/LA (same person moved to a new job), Charlotte NC and Ottawa. In Feb we are going for a 4 day weekend and the kids are back with my parents.

I keep waiting for my 13yr old to add "not speaking to his parents" to the teen sulks etc... Sorry, I'd love every minute of it.

Another year or so my youngest can attend a summer daycamp program for disabled youth... I can actually "GET A JOB!!!!!" if I want.

The only problem with them getting older is I do too :( Thankfully, hair dye covers the white :)

Glad your sons enjoyed the dances. We have a number of children at our public school that for religious reason's won't go and my eldest prefers spending that time with them watching a movie. Up to him, it doesn't fall under my "have to do" list of things for him to do at this time.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Oscar has a girlfriend? Wow, I think I've lost track completely of how grown up your kids are now :) I will miss all Oscars childish escapades too, but it sounds as though he is going to made you very proud as he grows up, and I'm sure that goes for your other kids too xx

kathleen said...

@Kim-hee-yup. That is a totoal Oscar move
@Farmwife-yes-the getting older ourselves part is not fun. Getting away-making them do things on their own..I think it is so important
@bluesky-He is 12 now..he has always wanted a girlfriend..I think since he was born...he loves girls..has a whole flock of them offering to help him all the time,,,I so do not look forward to adolescence...:))

Bright Side of Life said...

I hear you... and I think I may be one of those guilty ones who say to young mum's "enjoy your kids because they grow too fast". After reading your post, I won't say it any more! :) My nearly 17yr old only has two more years at home and I am bracing myself for the 'letting go'. Good luck with the girlfriend issue..that's a whole new ball game!

jazzygal said...

Oh, I SO hear you too! OMG... Oscar has a girlfriend? You so need time alone...or away. I'll go with you!!

So delighted for Oscar though :-)

xx Jazzy