Our kids have now been in school almost 2 weeks. I know that I am like so many other moms that countdown to summer vacation but then a little over half way through it start counting down when the kids will be headed back to school. This year was no different, honestly. By the middle of the summer the kids and I were antsy. This summer was different for us in many ways however I have always been so grateful for the opportunity to spend the time with my kids. It is exactly why we picked up and moved cross country, I wanted to be able to mom more and work less.
As I get up at 5:30 every morning to help my daughter get ready for school I often become extremely nostalgic. What happened to my little girl that was ready to go off to kindergarten, the one that loved her nicknames, the one that loved to run and play, the one that loved when daddy bumped her head on the ceiling when he held her up hight. Now we are curling hair and teaching how to use makeup. I have sat and watched in awe that she is now a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL. My heart broke for a moment realizing that we have just four years left before she goes off to college and into the real world. I wonder if she's prepared, if we are doing enough to get her ready. I wonder what the next four years will hold, will they be ones that she will look back on fondly or ones that we will simply pray to be over.
Being the mom of a teenager is no joke and not a job for the faint of heart. If I am not told daily that I am the "worst mom ever", I often feel like I am not doing my job. The first time it crushed me, the first time I cried ... the first time she told me that I wasn't her 'real mom' I curled up and cried for hours and the first time she told me that she hated me because I made her (brush hair, teeth or shower, I'm sure) I just didn't know what to do. Since then I have realized that I am not here to be her friend, I am here to be her parent so she isn't going to like me all the time. I am here to guide her, teach her and pray for her & with her. I am always going to be here to catch her when she falls but gone are the days that I can fix her problems for her, gone are the days that I will reach out to her teachers if she has issues. She is 14 years old and needs to learn how to have adult conversations, she needs to learn how to properly communicate and initiate hard conversations with others. She also needs to learn to take responsibility for her actions, both good and bad, because with every action there is a consequence. Mom will always be there with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and the keys needed to drive her all over the country.
But from what I see in a lot of the current generation is that there are no consequences and often little follow through. There is an entitled mentality that the world OWES them a 6-figure job upon graduation instead of the concept of working your way up... learning from those before you. Personal interaction is difficult because everything is through technology instead of the good, ole fashion conversation. I want my kids, like we all do, to be amazing adults and productive members of society. We want them to be happy, healthy and successful... I want her to be more successful than me and have more opportunities but I also want her to work for and earn them.
At the end of every day I ask how her day was ... "fine" is the answer more often than not. I know that this year will fly by like every one before it. I know that next August I will be sitting there wondering where her Freshman year went and how on earth I will only have 3 more years. I feel lucky and blessed that I get to be her mom, that I am able to help them grow and go out into our world. I am sure that once I hit her senior year that its going to take more to get through the first day of school than cookies and wine.