My kids are growing up way too fast. Don’t Blink!

I am a mother.

I am a mother of teenagers.

So far being a mother of teenagers has been uneventful for the most part.  They get decent grades in school. (Yes I have to nag).  They do their chores. (For the most part, but sometimes I have to nag).  They don’t sass too much. (Most of the time.)

Actually I think I am pretty lucky in the kid department. (Their rooms are nasty though.) I gave up the room battle years ago.  Now as long as I can walk across the floor without stepping on stuff I am okay with it.  I choose my battles.  Battles over grades will always win out over battles about their rooms.  The way I look at it, good grades means opportunities, and clean rooms just mean clean rooms.  Opportunities trump clean rooms, in my opinion.

So I am a mother to teenagers.

It went by so quickly.  It seems as though just yesterday they were little, and were showering me with hugs and kisses and love.  These days I still get love, but it is less frequently, and sometimes peppered with wise ass comments.  They make fun of me if I cry during a movie, and while they will still hug me on occasion, kisses on my cheek are forbidden. (They will still kiss me if I ask nicely, and throw in a bribe)

My boys in 2012.  Photo by Leila Wylie

My boys in 2012. Photo by Leila Wylie

But I can’t really complain.  I enjoy my kids.  I laugh with them, and goof off with them.  I tell them everyday how much I love them.  Sadly, I have friends who have lost children.  My mother lost my brother.  I can only imagine the pain and loss these women feel.  I am sure they cry every day missing their children.  I am grateful for every day I have with mine.  But I know another day with them is not guaranteed.  So I make sure every night before I go to bed I kiss them (they know resistance is futile), and make sure they know how much I love them.

When they were little I was always afraid if something happened to me they might not remember me. Now they are old enough to know how much their mom loved them if something happens to me.

But even with all of that, with the good foundation I have laid with my children about right and wrong and good decisions and bad decisions.  About responsibility and foolish choices.  About drugs, and friends, and sex and drinking.  Even with that I worry.  I am entering the years where I have little control and have to just hope and pray that the guidance and structure I gave them throughout their lives will win out when they have to make a decision.

When they are at a party and there is alcohol.  When they have a girlfriend and the topic of sex comes up.  When they are with their friends and someone pulls out a joint.  I won’t be with them, and I have to believe that the values and ethics I tried to instill in them actually took hold, and they will choose to leave the party, choose not to have sex,  and choose to walk away from the group of friends with drugs.

I am entering a new phase of parenting.  An unknown phase.  I was talking with a friend recently who has an 8 year old.  I told her, “You are still molding your child.  I have finished molding mine and am now just fine tuning.” And I truly believe that.  I no longer tell my kids to say please and thank you.  If I am still trying to teach them good manners, I missed the boat when they were 5.

I do think I am a good mom, and I have spent the last 16 years trying to be a responsible parent and raise two young men.  I have always felt it is my responsibility to help them become responsible, polite, respectful, productive members of society who know how to be nurturing and kind. I think it is important that we give back and I have tried to instill compassion and a sense of doing right by others.  Now the wait to see if my diligence paid off.

Now that I am the parent of a high school Junior, and a high school Freshmen, I will be able to see if what I tried to teach them actually sunk in.

I will let you know how that turns out!

(The music is “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney)

4 responses to “My kids are growing up way too fast. Don’t Blink!

  1. Madge Stein Woods

    You done good Carol. They will be responsible and loving. I can just tell from all your posts about them. Wait, the time goes even faster from now on. My “kids” are 42 and 40 and parents on their own and I still can remember like yesterday bringing them home from the hospital. How can they be that old when I feel like I am only the age they are now. I remember my Mom telling me the same thing as I turned 40. Love your posts. Send to TNF as this is where everyone is heading as their kids age.

    • Thanks Madge! I love being a mom, and my kids are my life! I know that in the blink of an eye they will be parents! I love seeing you with your grandkids. That is what life is all about: family!

  2. This post was really touching. I’m a 20 year old and I love my parents.Reading this just made me realize how I’ve never been an open child. I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but I don’t open up myself too much to my family and I usually get a feeling that my parents never got a chance to know me fully. Reading this post made me to think that parents worry too much if their guidance have had a lasting effect on their children and that they’d make the right choices. I was able to make out from your post that you were kind of glad that your kids have turned out to be a good bunch. I guess in my case my parents still haven’t gotten to make that call about me yet. Deep down I think I have their values instilled in me but I just can’t get myself to open up and show them that in action. They always seem to doubt me. This one instance I was gonna stay late at my university’s 24 hour area to get ready for a final and when I decided I might have to pull off an all nighter my dad had troubles believing my true intent. They always seem to think I’m doing something I’m not supposed to do. Being in a Christian family might have something to do with this but still.. Like I can’t even stay late and study! I remember being so frustrated that day

    • Alvin, life is a funny thing. You never know when tragedy may strike, and you might lose someone. Please tell your parents how you feel. Talk to them, and be honest with them. Maybe they are trying to hold on to the little boy you were. It is difficult for us parents to realize our kids are truly growing into adults and no longer need us. Your dad not trusting you may be more about his feelings about letting you go than really distrust. Give it some thought. I bet your parents would want to know that you love them and you did indeed learn from them how to make good decisions and be grown. Please let me know how it goes!

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