Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Mysteries of Adulthood...

Our teenagers are the in-betweeners; Neither a child, nor fully an adult...

You might still find yourself reaching for their hand as you cross the road. Sure to be met with the certified 'Drop dead, Mum!' look.

You may still attempt to buy them gifts that are jokey, quirky and designed to appeal to the kid in them. With Christmas creeping round the corner, such things are still on the menu, non?! Cue the steely stare when they open the chocolate reindeer droppings.

You want them to be careful out there in the world; To avoid the pitfalls of everyday living; To be wary of the many pick-pockets in the city; To stay safe from harm. Watch out for those rolling eyes, you might trip over them!

Now, instead of making their baby steps before your very watchful eyes, your outstretched arms ready to catch them when they tumble, they're taking them in front of members of their most important peer group, most of whom mightn't give a rat's ass if they fall...

They're taking risks in the Big Wide World; They're walking tightropes high above tall buildings; They're juggling multi-coloured leather balls and spinning bright shiny white plates and you have to just watch and wait...

You don't want to live in their pockets; You want them to have their independence. You don't want to be the kind of Mother that falls apart when they're gone. You are braver than that.

So, I knock before I enter his student flat. We text before we are due to arrive there by car so that he has time to have a clean-around and remove any evidence, contraband...

Whatever it is, this is the time when he should be able to make his own choices in life.

I can only hope they are the right ones. We have done all we can to be 'good-enough parents', have we not?

I breathe fresh air in deeply and exhale further, puffing my cheeks out like Dizzy Gillespie.

I remind myself - He's not a baby any longer; I don't have to stand over him to make sure he brushes his teeth thoroughly. I'm not able to ensure he has the right amount of sleep each night, that he's eating properly, or that he's tucked up with a favourite teddy or blankie - In his case, a knitted kitty named 'Miaow'.

Life goes on. Of course it is a little emptier. Until the long holidays, vacations, when he's back again, taking up more space on the sofa than my husband, myself and three rats (his girlfriend's - we're care-taking them - Don't ask!) combined!

On my own blog, I tend to find myself writing a lot about loss. Love and Loss. Love and life.

We bring them up in life the best way we know how. We fight the battles we feel are the most important. And then our children are partially lost to us. Off to life itself. Their lives.

My life.

Oh yeah, it's Fhina by the way...


  1. That stage of life for us and them is so bittersweet..

  2. but that's what they do...they make their own mistakes and right their own wrongs (unless it involves cold hard cash which few of them have access to except thru us). I guess the best we can do is let them fall then help them pick the scabs...yes, I love you thisssssssssss much...so hang in there...

  3. Oh mine are a few years on from the teenage now and I look at them and think what lovely people they have become and how much I like them as well as love them. I do remember vividly that period when they were teens and you just had to trust you had done a good enough job when they were children and try to let them ago. It was only when they got through to their early twenties that I had such a rush of relief that realised I had been holding my breath for about eight years.

  4. Teenage Terrorists!!! Brillant!
    Having no kids,I can only imagine the ups/downs,highs/lows......and do my best to emphasise! XXX

  5. As we speak, the Queenager is making her way from Washington DC to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Not only does she have to travel on the DC Metro for the first time on her own, BUT she has to make sure she goes in the right direction. There is no room for error. Than she has to find her gate, security etc. etc. Needless to say I have been texting her for hours.
    And breathe....

  6. I am *this* close to being at the point of letting him go. Next year, he will leave home for college. I'm not ready. It will be the hardest thing I've ever done. And you are right, all I can do is hope that I've done "good enough."

  7. We've just been through the reality check of acknowledging that our middle one won't spend time here any more other than as an occasional guest. We have therefore turned her room from the pit that it was into something which guests (including her) might inhabit. She was back this weekend and was much more approving than we thought she would be.

    Glad I've found this post - it resonates with some thoughts I've been having all week

  8. Oh how I hear you ! I've dreaded every changing stage as they grow up but coped with it all but this is the worst - when they leave home. But you know, I'm preparing as they do !

  9. I too am crossing my fingers that I have done a 'good enough' job: Eldest departs for university next year. Since I will then still have one teenager at home I'm hoping to get used to their departure...

  10. Right now my eldest teenager, a boy not yet a man, 17 going on 5, is TERRIBLE! Conflict at every corner, mood swings enough to make you sick, doing all sorts of things I really wish I didn't even have an inkling about. Due to a false start at 6th form we are starting again so ! I have another 2 years, actually 18months really, before he leaves home and I cant wait ( this upsets me terribly)

  11. They are a strange breed for sure and I sometimes wonder if my 16yr old is actually mine, so little do I understand her ! But I remember her birth and then I realise...yes she is mine and I'm stuck with her ! It isn't all bad though there are moments when she listens to me and appreciates my 'wise words'....then the second passes ;) but she's still adorable :)

  12. Yeah...what we don't appreciate when they are wee is that we are raising them to get to this very moment - the moment when they can spread their wings, become independent and leave us...
    I have a boomerang 21yr old who leaves and comes back - intermittently. And an 18yr old - who will leave shortly. Makes me want to hold the 14, 11 and 8 yr old a little more tightly...
    I am glad I've found your blog...

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