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Grappling…and coming to terms

Been feeling emotional lately.  Not totally sure what is going on.  Just know that I have been quite contemplative lately, and had quite a few tearful moments at random.

Life is changing for me with the girls getting older and I’m struggling a bit to know my place anymore.

It wasn’t long ago, I was their everything.  Now, I have been reduced to “their ride”.  Uber driver…. or better yet… MUber, as it were….

Today I took my oldest to get her nails done.  As she sat there and thumbed with her free hand in response to the texts going back and forth, I was faced with the fact that I am not her whole world anymore.  It’s a good thing…and a painful thing.  No one wants to be left feeling unneeded.  And here I sit…. waiting for her to get her nails done.  She didn’t want me to leave her alone at the salon, yet she didn’t have much to say to me.  It’s that awkward age of “I have stuff on my mind, but I’m not saying it because I haven’t totally figured it out and I don’t want you to yell at me if I say something wrong”.

…..which I respect……  I don’t like it … but I respect it…..

Still, I try to pry a little.  All the while realizing that my efforts are becoming more and more futile as the days and years go on…..

When we got home, I needed to step away.  I went upstairs and laid down for a bit, thinking about where our lives are going.  This time is a natural progression in life.  As parents we are here to guide our children and give them the wings to fly.  We need to slowly start stepping back more and more and start letting them experience life without us so that they can know how capable they are and gain strength and confidence in themselves.  No one said parenting would be easy.

But what I reflected on in my silence is that when people complain about their teenagers, they are never really specific in the issues they are having.  So other parents are left wondering what’s all the hub bub about teenagers and why are they so difficult.

Well….I’m starting to get a sense of it.  And honestly, though I cry sometimes about it, I have it pretty good with my girls.

My 13 year old was the one that used to scare me when she was younger.  But when I look at her now, I realize she was just breaking out of the shell a little earlier than my older daughter.  Simply because she sat back and watched and observed and took notes and saw how it was done and learned it for herself earlier, because she didn’t want to be held back! As a matter of fact, for many years, I treated my girls as twins.  In many ways they acted the same (okay…not totally, but close enough for opposite personalities).

I finally realized that, it was a mistake to treat them as equals and started spreading out the priviledges to be more age appropriate.  I can honestly say, that didn’t go over well.

Be that as it may, I did see a lot of individuating behaviors in my younger daughter than my older daughter, which makes me chuckle.  She would literally set up her schedule, which included rides to and from her events.  Blew my mind at how efficient she was!

To this day, she’s the more communicative and outspoken child.  Which I know some people can’t handle, but it’s a lot easier to know how your child is feeling because they are acting OUT,  than to sit back ask a million questions and never get a proper answer from one who isn’t quite sure what she’s feeling, because she’s more reflective and doesn’t say as much.

I do appreciate the differences in my kids.  How boring would it be to have two kids exactly the same?  Where’s the fun in that?

I’m grateful for the growth in both my girls.  I just wish it didn’t all happen so fast!

Today as I was having a little one on one time with my eldest, I was telling her about people I’d recently met and what they told me when I met them.  She was really dumbfounded at the information I get out of people.  In 5 minutes I get more info out of people than some do in 20 years.  And my daughter asked how I do it?  I told her I’m fascinated by people and I simply ask questions.  Then we talked about dating and she said, “I bet you’ve never had an ‘awkward silence’ date in your life”.  I told her I was a wierd kid and I’m sure there was a LOT of awkward going on with me in my life.

Teenage years are HARD.  So much “figuring out” to be done.  So much uncertainty.  So many young and awkward souls mixed together looking for acceptance and understanding.

I remember those years.  And I wouldn’t want to go back.  But the one thing that I do appreciate when I look back is knowing that my parents were there for me, and that they let me dip my toe in the water and figure things out.  The let me fall, and were happy to dust me off and send me back out there.

Parenting isn’t for sissies.  And the job never ends.  So as I may not want to be promoted to “MUber” just yet… it’s my lot in life.  And I’ll take it.  Because as long as I can have them captive in a car for just a few months more… the next step is letting their wings spread even more.  And eventually, they won’t be coming back to the nest…..

Patience, love, acceptance, trust, support, discipline, guidance, advice … and lots of hugs….

Oh…. and tears….

Parenting comes down to a lot of moments.  Use them wisely…..