At what age do you think we stop being our children’s parents?
I had someone recently ask me when I get to have my life back? When do I get to stop looking after Poss; putting her needs first? When do I get to focus on my career and my needs?
Is it never? Is it something that ebbs and flows over time, evolving as they get older? Is it when our children marry, have a family of their own? Is it when they move out? When they get their first job? When they move out of home?
When Poss was born, I remember the overwhelming tenderness I held her with; that flush of first love. Totally besotted with her, even if I wasn’t sure I was up to the task of parenting this squirming, red faced little person, by god, I was going to try.
Every day she got older, a small part of me despaired, instinctively understanding that she would one day leave us in search of a life of her own. Wanting to treasure every second, taking a million photos in the hope it would preserve those moments for as long as possible.
It’s such a short time we hold them for, someone famous once said.
Each milestone comes and goes; walking, talking, kinder and prep. Faster and faster, as she moves from baby-hood into the start of her tween years. She is about to go into grade three. Half way through primary school. We’ll blink and she will be in high school.
It sounds silly, but her new haircut has made her look older. Makes me realise how grown up she is becoming; now such a little person, forming her own opinions. They’re not always the same of ours, but I love the way she is learning how to express herself (in amongst the tantrums and sass), building arguments and sharing her unique perspective.
She is funny, she is irreverent, she often talks before she thinks. She is loud, she is bold and she is a thinker. She is a reader and she loves jokes. She is passionate and I love hearing her talk about the things that capture her attention.
I hope she will always enjoy sharing these things with me, asking my opinion and debating the rights and wrongs with me. Making me laugh and opening my eyes to a different point of view.
As for when I get my life back?
If it’s never, I am perfectly ok with that.