Saturday, August 25, 2012

My kids are growing up

I have had kids since I was a kid myself. Started having them at 15 and raising them at 18. Two grew up in families that love them dearly and would move the earth for them, and the other four grew up with me. I always liked that, growing up with my kids, but now, I am forced to recognize that we are all grown up. They aren't as dependent on me as I have come realize I am, on them.
The other day, my daughter who is about to be 18 let me know she wanted to leave school. I listened to her tell me all her reasons why, silently playing my own memory pictures to the words in her description. I was really identifying with her, when I was snapped out of my mind-movie, by "Mom you are 39, you'll be 40 this year, you aren't thinking like an 18 year old, you don't know what I am going through."
At first I was shocked, my brain clicked, I'm 39? Then I felt like I was kicked in the gut, "I don't know?" Why the hell did I carry all that angst around so that I could identify with you then?! At that moment I realized it was me who was wanting to be identified with. She never asked for all of that. Dammit, why does she have to just break down my barriers? I wasn't ready!
I told her she was silly, and she said the conversation was over. Fine, I needed time to regroup from that anyway.
Luckily I have a partner that is more mature than I feel (or act) most times. I relayed that conversation to him, up to the "you aren't thinking like an 18 year old" comment and he laughed. "Thank goodness" he told me, "we've grown past thinking and that way!" "And we survived!" I laughed.
I didn't think growing up would feel this way. Suddenly I needed to call my parents and apologize for being a teenager. Especially theirs. I heard the same things she was pleading come out of my mouth all those years ago, and I thought they just couldn't understand. Maybe that is wrong. Maybe they felt out of place, overwhelmed and pushed toward things that didn't jive with them too. Maybe they just put on a better show. They told me I would understand when I grew up. I think this means I should tell them that I just did. 

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