Monday, 20 January 2014

If you're the parent, then you have to be the adult


If you're the parent, then you have to be the adult
20 January 2013

I think that when one has kids, there’s lots you don’t anticipate.  Things you don’t think of in advance.  And actually, it’s a good thing.  Cause if you really thought through the whole parenting-thing-and-all-that-it-encompasses, chances are you wouldn’t even bother.

I’m telling you, it’s a minefield out there.

That cute little baby, that’s lying in your arms so sweetly, is going to lie to you to your face.  She’s going to smoke.  And lie about it.  She’s going to be late for her curfew and lie about it too.  She’s going to fail the odd test.  She’s probably going to bunk a class, or even a day or two.  She’s going to snog her boyfriend, when she’s way too young to do so.  She’s going to sneak out.  She’s going to go through a challenging experimental faze.  She’s going to be cheeky.  She’s going to roll her eyes at you.  She’s going to get up to no good with her best friend.  She’s going to trust some drunk guy to drive her home.  Sometimes, she’ll even be the drunk one.  She’s going to sneak into pubs and clubs, with a fake ID no less.  She’s going to be reckless, and fearless and make your hair stand on end. 

Please note, that all of the above is also applicable to boy babies.  Except maybe for the snogging boyfriend bit.  But hey, it’s not impossible that your boy will be snogging his boyfriend. 

You’re going to worry about that cute little baby, one day having sex, and possibly not being safe.  Of possibly choosing an unwise partner (picture long haired, tattooed, workless charmer), and not using birth control.

You’re going to worry.  A LOT!

But here’s the thing – most of us, went through the same stuff.  We were that kid, getting in some drunk guy’s car.  We smoked and we lied to our folks about it.  We tried to bend our curfew times, and came up with inventive, sometimes even semi-plausible excuses.  We had a drink when we shouldn’t have and we were way too young to.  We snogged.

It’s part of growing up.

But now I’m on the other side of the coin.  No more happy-go-lucky-the-world-is-my-oyster teenage side.  I’m now in the parent camp.

And it scares the bejeebers out of me.

It’s a jungle out there!!!

I would rather face a hungry Great White, an angry family of snakes, and a burning inferno, than having to cope with some of this stuff. 

Cause here’s the deal - I HAVE TO BE THE PARENT.  And there is no escape.  The buck stops with me.  The discipline too.

I know – it’s really scary!

Not only is my kid growing up.  I have to grow up too. 


I’ve never had to deal with any of this stuff, from an adult’s perspective.  I’ve only been on the other side.  The irresponsible side.  The fun side.  The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants side. 

Let me tell you, it’s pretty hair raising.  And I have bucket loads of respect to parents that have gone through this, and come out whole on the other side.  Who’ve lived to tell the tale. 

Now I haven’t gone through all of this with my kids.  Thank heavens!  But I’ve had to do some of it.  The relatively easy-ish stuff.  And I think there’s a lot more still coming up the lift.  We live in a different era and age to our kids.  Their challenges are not the same as the ones we faced. 

Still, every single time, my teenager steps out of the door and steps back into the door, I hold my breath.  Wishing protection and wisdom over him when he leaves, and grace that he was good while he was gone when he returns.

I’m not trying to be funny here, but take it from me, I seriously prefer the teenage side of the coin.  Way more!!!

Speaking for the teen I’ve got, he’s a good kid.  Most of the time.  Still this unchartered parenting of a teenager is daunting.

And from where I’m at now, I have huge amounts of respect for, and am in awe of, my folks.  They did the parenting a teenager thing, when they were still ridiculously young.  When I met my Grantie, I was seventeen and my Mom a mere thirty five.  Sure I caused her many sleepless nights.  Sorry Mom!

Holding thumbs, that I too make it through to the other side.  But not only me, my kids as well. 

And as for me?  My aim is to come out of it alive and semi-whole.  More than likely, I’ll bear physical evidence to my trials and tribulations.  More grey hairs.  Frayed nerves.  Shot nervous system.

With not too many war stories to retell.  I should be so lucky.

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1 comment:

  1. Ag H!! You were an angel!!!

    This is all too true!
    It is daunting! And scary!

    And I am very very proud of the job you are doing, and of your lovely children!