Wednesday, March 2, 2011 |

This week I've been greeted with the reality that parenting doesn't end ... ever. Well, it's not a new revelation exactly. Parenting changes as your child grows but the rules don't. The love intensifies, as do the worries, while each stage of growth ticks by. They require fewer boundaries for safety yet greater guidance.

Each morning I gaze out at the welcoming lines at school and I silently say to the parents of the young, enjoy the days when a kiss or hug will solve a major crisis, a battle over mixed matched clothing isn't worth having, and the reassurance of an afternoon pick up calms their child's world.

Those were the days!

It's a little more difficult {read lots} when they become older. As in young adults older. When they live many states away yet still need their mommy and daddy {sometimes} but don't want to admit it or don't know how to ask at the moment. They feel lost and want to be scooped up into our laps where we tell them everything will be just fine. However, there is such a level of, self imposed, pride, that they don't tainted. Yet what they don't understand, at this age, is that asking for help is a sign of maturity.

They also don't realize the toll it takes on us {parents} because we can no longer jump in with our Super Hero Cape on and save the day! No, instead we must allow them to fight their own battles so that the sweet victory is all theirs and the reward is self-confidence! Something that cannot be given and must be earned. It's a required lesson in becoming independent. I've had to trade in my magical cape for prayer. Lots and lots and lots of it I might add. God and I are bestie these days. He is on my speed dial and hears from me quite often.

With a few more years of life experience on my side, I know he'll be fine. We {parents} recognize these trials as mere speed bumps on the rough road of life. Oh, they were painful when we passed over them so many years ago so we understand and commiserate the pain. We too thought our world was ending or least drastically scarred and would never be the same. If only I had a video tape to replay and prove that yes, you will survive.

What my sweet son doesn't realize is that we, as his parents, are hurting with him and share in the pain because it hurts us to see him hurting. It's hard to stand silently on the sidelines of this game called life.

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French said...

Oh goodness Life can be tough for all of us, non? There are days I'd like to be scooped up by Mommy and have all the headache go away too, but helas...whatever the world brings, at least you have each other, to get through it together....xxoo A

carolinagirl said...

As much as we complain about our parenting trials right now...I am soooooo not ready for what you have just posted about! Good luck! Prayers are with you.

Lorri said...

This really spoke to me. I feel like I am in the middle. I am parenting three littles ones with my super cape on, but not too far away from those days where I learned those hard lessons....on my own. I can (vividly) remember my mother saying "this hurts me as much as it hurts you.". I, of course, didn't believe her at the time. But now that I have my own children, I understand! Thank you for sharing!

Henley on the Horn said...

Wow. I can only imagine how hard it is to parent a teenager/young adult. I will be praying for you, too, Jo!!! I'm 39 and still need my mama!

Jan M said...

Wouldn't we all like to trade places with our children some days, so that we can shoulder the pain instead of them. I think it really is more difficult when they are miles away, and all you really want is to hug them. Prayers for you, as you pray for your son.

Pink Martini said...

I was just discussing this with my DM this weekend. Must be something in the air. Praying for you and family, dear one. :)

Kathy said...

Oh Jo, I hope that all is well with Nicholas....Honestly, I dread when my children have to face the weighty challenges of young adulthood. I am clinging with both hands to the simple problems of today. Thank you for the reminder...

One thing for certain, Nicholas is so blessed to have you as his Mom!
Thinking of you!

Kacey said...

So well said and so beautifully written. I'm still in the stages of wearing my super hero cape and am a bit frightened for when my babies get older. So much beautiful advice in this. Can I keep it for future reference? :) Sending hugs...I hope all will be well for Nicholas.

Heidi said...

I needed that today! I read it twice, thank you!

Elle Belles Bows said...

Wonderful post! How very true!! Kerri

Tessa said...

Hi sweet blog friend of mine, your heart sounds heavy. It is never easy to see your kids hurting - physically or emotionally - no matter what the age. I'm 37 and I still need my Mum, often. I think it might be easier for girls to ask for help too, than it is for sons. You are an incredible mother. Your son knows how much he is loved and honestly that is what is all comes down to.

LuLu said...

We are just in the beginning of high school with our oldest and when i think too hard about what is ahead of us i can pretty much have a panick attack... your post was so beautifully written... i am that mom to my younger children where a kiss and a hug does the trick and the most challenging thing for my kindergartener is 6+1 and remembering his sight words! oh how i wish it stayed that simple.
I'm sending up extra prayers for all us parenting warriors who love our children so much it hurts!!!
My thoughts are with you,

Telia said...

Jo, those are beautiful words! Having just stepped out of those hard college years myself, feel comfort in knowing he is learning so much about himself and most importantly about life.

Telia, NewlyWedWifeLife

Lisa said...

It is the most amazing priviledge to be parents and the most painful at time. Thank heavens we can take our cares to the Lord. I will pray for you today!...beautiful picture!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jo,

You have written a beautiful post and thank you for this.
I know exactly what you are saying and there are so many lessons to be learned for both us as Parents and our kids.
Sending my love and prayers to your family.


Kristen @ said...

aww, I am in that young adult stage and definitely need my parents more than I care to admit!!

AND YOU WON MY GIVEAWAY!! Congrats! You have a $25 gift certificate to Ladybug Blessings :) I have lots of pictures on my site (under my shop:) Just tell me what you are thinking and we can go from there :)


Rene said...

The timing of this post is bone chilling for me. But I guess it is like you said before, a parent never stops worrying. I have him on my speed dial too Jo.

Hopefully this will pass soon.

midnight macaroons said...

My husband and I haven't taken that leap into parenthood quite yet. However, we cross our fingers that this is our year.

But as a grown child I must say that having a supportive parent is one of the biggest blessings God can give us. It's like God himself is guiding us through the hardships and using our mom and dad to comfort us along the way. He speaks to us through their advice and loves us through their hugs. He provides a safe place (childhood home) to go when you become overwhelmed with life. My grandfather use to tell us that it's the parents job to teach the children how to be good parents for the next generation. How you love and support your children will continue through their love and support for their children. Your son is very lucky to have a great mom like you and I know he's going to be alright. Adversity always makes us stronger and wiser in the end.

annechovie said...

Jo, this was a thoughtful and beautiful post! I am not a mother but I can imagine it's no easy task. Your son is blessed to have parents who love him so much. Hugs and prayers. xo

Lisa said...

You are a wise woman and a wonderful mom.
Keep up the good work my dear as every bump makes us stronger. He is so fortunate to have you too.
Thanks be to God for being such a good listener.
xo Lisa

JMW said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your son is hurting and that you are hurting for him. My friends with older children have said that when they're little, you are physically exhausted. When they are older, you are mentally exhausted. I'll keep your family in my prayers. And, thanks for a reminder to not sweat the small stuff with my little ones. :)

Dee Stephens said...

Catching up. Hate to hear this. HOpefully, him and that sweet girl didn't break up?

Lori said...

This makes me so sad.....and I don't look forward to those days. Thanks for sharing your experience and I do hope your baby boy is doing well.

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