Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Sweet 16 has always had a pink, lacey, precious ring in my ears. It is the turning point beyond all others, especially for a girl. It is only 2nd to her wedding day …
Turning Sweet 16
differs GREATLY from being
The Parent of a Child Turning Sweet 16.
I missed that memo.
I think that the time drawing near for a child to fly from the nest and become an independent adult is incredibly similar to the one when she was making her flight out of the last nest … my STOMACH.
At the end of the pregnancy, it became crowded and uncomfortable for both of us. I knew I would miss the closeness and joy of feeling her move, kick, hiccup and simply BE with me at all times. Moving into the next phase of screaming, sleepless nights and worry was going to be difficult, but staying pregnant with the child for the rest of my life was not the option of choice. It appeared to me that an unpleasant possibility existed as my tiny tummy had stretched to its maximum point. No need for labor, I would surely soon rupture and spill my baby out … It was time.
I am not to that point yet with this pre-adult phase, but I have heard it is in my near future. Making the change from a fetus to a newborn and a teenager into an adult are really intense, difficult phases. They are 2 important cocoons that are tough on the child and the parent.
Mother Nature must be a comedian on the side. She likes to dress the same thing up in different outfits and watch us not recognize it until it is over. I can hear her, “OOPS!! I guess I got you AGAIN!!”
So, I am learning to give without receiving and to give then be accused of not giving enough. I have seemingly developed some form of leprosy and now have mental disabilities that cause me to be incapable of understanding teenage life. I am an annoying nuisance until my home is needed for a sleepover or a fee is due. Then, I am okay, until the kids come for the sleepover. At that point, I am an unwanted guest in my own home. Nothing about anything I say or do is cool or acceptable. Even the fact that her friends think her mom is cool, is not cool.
I have no desire to be “cool,” I just struggle with receiving fewer smiles, hugs and such. I miss my baby who once wanted me around most of the time. It will take some adjusting to transition into being an adult parent. As I watch my father be a great example … I can see my daughter in myself.
I cannot say I think my dad should do more, or that I treat him like a boil on my skin; but, I certainly don’t keep the rules of the game on an equal playing field as far as what he does for me and what I do for him. In fact, it is no where close. Being the kids, we seemingly think, “He/she is the parent and that’s what they are SUPPOSED to do!!”
My dad is simply happy to be the one we choose to call for help … AND he can help all 4 of us in one day WITH a smile as though there is nothing in the world he would rather be doing more than assisting us with no payback.
I find myself treasuring the smiles more. The sound of, “I love you mama” is sounding a little sweeter and carrying more value. I take advantage of the little invitations when I get them; “Hey mom, do you want to___?”
Basically, it is an honor and privilege to be the parent who is expected to do the grunt work and then take a little criticism here or there about what we could or should have done better.
As I throw my pity party, I hear God softly whisper, “Believe Me, My child, I understand how you feel. We must love our kids even when they show no appreciation or recognition. It is just part of being a parent … But it does get irritating at times. Try painting a sunrise and sunset EVERY day for the ones you love so much and it seldom gets noticed.”
The circle of life … We are the child, and then become the parent … only to realize again, that we are the child …
SWEET 16 has multiple levels of sweetness,
Posted by Kasi M. Bryon at 8:48 AM