Thursday, March 30, 2006

In Other News...

Anyone whose been here a while knows I speak of my children as annoyances. They bug me. They bug each other. They really friggin' bug the crap out of me! Most days.

But lately I've been feeling rather sappy towards them. Really. That whole 'when your child is born you start wearing your heart on the outside' thing? Been feeling it lately. Not that I didn't feel it when they were born - but for a while there? It was gone. I was trying to get through my days. Many days I no longer remember. Many years that are a blur. The whole 4 kids under 6 thing? Blur. Elementary schedules, preschool schedules, nursing schedules all at the same time? Blur. It may have gotten better when the third went off to kindergarten but that is about when the depression set in. So? Blur.

Blur. Blur. Blur.

But now? Now I feel like I just woke up. And there are these kids. Four of them. And they are big. And they are growing. Growing taller and growing up. They are also growing away from me. Not a lot. Just a bit. But still. The older two (11 & 9) walk home from school every day. Every day they spend a bit of time with a bunch of other kids. Unsupervised. What do they talk about? What do they do to each other? Who knows. I'm sure they curse and complain and I KNOW they talk about the online computer game they all play.

I know they need this time to grow. I know as they get older they will spend more and more time with their friends doing their own things. And now I know why it is so hard for parents to let them go. I really didn't get it until just now. Really, this very minute.

When I think back to my own childhood, that is what I remember. The times on the bus. The times in school. The inbetween times. The times it was just my friends and I.

I keep trying to remind myself the kids NEED this time. They need to have unsupervised time. They need to venture out on their own. Make their own choices and make their own mistakes. And as long as the time is limited and monitored, I need to see if I did my job and taught them well.


So much can go wrong. But it seems to be more wrong to not allow them this chance to test their wings in our little town. In our small neighborhood. In our community where they know so many people and all the parents are looking out for them. It seems like a safe gamble. But yet, it's still a gamble. I'd like to say I can't gamble with my kids' safety but just having them is such a gamble. And waiting until they are grown to give them freedom? It seems like a bigger gamble.

So, I'm convinced it is the right decision. They must unfurl their wings. Bit by bit. I've spent the last 11 years monitoring their every breath. Now they must breath on their own. And of course, I must watch like a hawk for the results.


GosMMY said...

welcome to the conundrum of parenthood. You are entering into the inbetween years, leaving the nurturing ones. Now, you have to balance teaching and LISTENING without too much judging, so that when its time to really let them fly, you know that you have done your best. This time is really harder than high school years, because then they are really on their own already. You must make them realize choices made w/their freinds now could affect the rest of their lives. It is time now to talk of sex,smoking,stealing and drugs.....NOW.

moe said...

Ok, I'm a big chicken. My oldest daughter is 15 and I want to know where she is and who she's with at all times. She stays for activities after-school and goes to events without us but, I know they are organized and supervised.

Last night I asked her to sweep the kitchen. I went downstairs to work (I work from home). This morning I saw she didn't sweep. How can I trust her to make the right choices away from home on her own when I can't even get her to sweep without checking up on her.

This makes her sound like a bad kid. She is not. She is great. She helps SO much with her siblings and around the house, is in demand as a babysitter, does well at school, etc. I am just not ready to let her 'hang out'. Like I said I'm a big chicken. Maybe I'll lighten up with the next 4.

Lyvvie said...

Everyone thought I was a psycho because I called my friend on her mobile to be sure my daughter had arrived at school safely the first couple times she took the bus.

The anxiety of those first few days was awful!!

I totally know how you feel.


I feel the same way about my children. They are able to do a lot more for themselves. They spend more time with their friends now. I read an article in Canadian Living yesterday about a mom and her 16 year old daughter. It's worth reading.

The Queen Mama said...

Oh God, you just gave me an aneurysm. I can't imagine being there yet. But my oldest isn't even 6 yet. It will fly, I'm sure.

Good luck with this tough stuff.