Parenting Past the Early Years
Nobody told me.
Nobody told me that these early years were just the beginning of a long journey between us, mother and son, a journey that would take us to such high and low moments. Moments where I feared for you, where I feared for us.
I was so confident in the relationship we had in these early years, never did I think it would be anything else.
I never believed it would be anything other than sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, school admissions and learning to tie your laces.
When you were 15 and pulling away I remember telling you that it felt as though you were asking me to roll the glass ball I’d been carrying for 15 years into the world with the hope that it doesn’t get smashed, a huge ask, a scary lesson in trust.
Nobody told me that my little boy would one day navigate exams, drugs, heartbreak and mental fragility (yours and mine), that he would vote against a me in the general elections or move to live in Australia for a year, I would never have believed them.
I was naive imagining that you would always be with me, always be my little boy.
People talk of teething, potty training, milestones and developmental leaps, why does nobody talk about how the changes, angst and worry go on long past the childhood years, that parenting young adults makes the early parenting years feel like child’s play (pun intended).
Nobody told me how the stakes would raise, how I would become a shadow in your new world full of colour, that I would no longer be your main focus, that you would no longer (show) need me.
But, now you’re 22 and we have travelled so far, nobody told me what your growth would teach me, or that the love I have for you will become a new kind of love, a love earned, a love built on trust and a willingness to be what you need me be to be rather than what I think you need me to be.
Our journey continues, our lessons continue, my love for you continues.
Thank you for your patience while I’ve navigated parenting through the years my little guinea pig, and thank you for leading the way when I got lost.