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Sometimes it’s really hard to be a parent and not necessarily just because your kids can drive you nuts — especially your teenage kids. No, I think it’s really hard because the letting go process, the process of watching your kids growing up, involves such heart tugging for parents. It is very difficult for most parents who genuinely care about the adults that their children will become to sit down or stand by and let lessons be learned however difficult those lessons might be and how much you see the hurt that comes from them reflect in your child’s eyes. It is difficult to teach your children to advocate for themselves, especially when the system might be stacked against them. It is very difficult to sit back when every molecule of your parental instinct makes you want to jump in with both feet and scream your head off about something that is not only inequitable but also inherently flawed. Let’s face it, it is something that most of us have been doing for the better part of a decade and a half or more — standing up for kids who may or may not have been able to stand up for themselves and make sure they are not hurt. It is very difficult for kids and parents alike when hurt can no longer be fixed with kisses and hugs and some lessons fall completely outside of any parental control whatsoever.
In a few of the recent situations it would be easy and less painful for the parent to throw around parental weight, especially when this parental weight comes with a law license. Easy to go in guns blazing, spewing threats of litigation and violations of due process and other legalese. Easy, but not then again not so easy. Sure, exerting pressure may have changed the outcome. What lesson, though, does my son learn when his problems were fixed by his mother or his father in that situation? What lesson, indeed. How heart wrenching for the parent-part of that lawyer to see what could be construed as an injustice being done and having to sit by idly.
Faced with decisions as parents we sometimes made a difficult choices looking out for the long term good of our children and the men or women they will become. The short term ramifications of the situations and those decisions can haunt us in the short term and cause us, as parents, to second guess what seemed so apparent at a specific moment in time.
Sometimes, however, we need to step by from the situation and not get wrapped up in the “hype” of all of it and realize that in the long term, it may not be as important as it seems this moment, but the decision that was made that preceded it and the lessons learned from that decision, may have an endless ripple effect throughout the child’s life — that is the real test, not some silly accolade, or title or piece of material.
Time does not change us. It just unfolds us. ~ Max Frisch
My how they’ve grown. I was looking through pictures to find a good foliage picture for an article I was writing for the Rutland County Express and I realized just how much the boys have grown and changed –dare I saw morphed into little (well not so little) men. You sometimes don’t really realize the drastic changes until you compare pictures.
In 2008 my guys looked like this:
In 2009 almost exactly a year later they looked like this:
And then 2010 rolled around — same time of the year…..
And just a couple weeks ago, I snapped this picture when we were in Montreal:
All three of them now tower over me, not that that is so amazing after all look at my hubby. Hard to believe how much they’ve grown up in what seems like a blink of the eye. They are unfolding into such handsome young men.
In the last two weeks, we’ve celebrated two of our boys’ birthdays. The oldest two have birthdays that are ten days apart. They are less than a year apart in age. They are however very different. The oldest is clearly … well, the oldest. He can be bossy with his siblings, he is used to getting what he wants and he has also matured a great deal. He no longer grumbles and complains when he is asked to do things, he just does them – a sign of maturity and a welcome respite from answering and arguing about why something needs to be done. He is very outgoing and clearly shines when he is in a social situation.
Our second son, who is a middle child, is fiercely independent and very comfortable entertaining himself. He doesn’t need a large group to feel at home, although he doesn’t shy away from groups of friends. He’s empathetic and introverted. He wants to be a pediatrician or a dentist – clearly choices that fit his personality and I think he will do well caring for others. While he doesn’t say much – he is a man of few words – he is ever watchful and very protective…especially of his younger brother. He is always aware of what is going on around him, although sometimes you wouldn’t know it. We often joke that he knows where everything is…especially when his older brother can’t seem to find something.
So interesting to see how two children with the same genetics, born so close together and raised almost simultaneously have such different personalities, outlooks on their world and perceptions.
When the boys were little, we often celebrated their birthdays together. Here they are in the “king” chairs at their joint birthday party.
Here’s pictures from this year’s birthdays….amazing how they’ve grown. Boy, time sure does fly….