Sunday, September 25, 2011

They Grow Up

When it comes to parenting, I have done things a little bit different. By no means am I alone. There are many families like mine.  My children are years apart. I got one completely through early childhood and into adolescents and then started over.

This is important to me because I have had a moment of what life will be like for me in a few years at the same time, I am charting new territory. I am muddling my way through adolescents with The Boy and I am repeating parenting a preschooler with The Short Chic.

The Boy is a great sleeper...NOW. Back when I was a single mommy and he and I lived in a two bedroom house, I could not get him to sleep by himself. He told me later he was scared. He never felt safe in his bedroom.  Once I remarried and we all lived together, he immediately started sleeping in his own bed. And I got acquainted with sleep again.

Then The Short Chic came along. Having had years of sleep, I liked it. I loved it! So I took the easiest route I could. I allowed her to sleep with us. She slept better if we were there (I am sure once again a safety feeling). And let's face it: I got more sleep too! Now, we have been working on breaking this habit. She has slept in her new bedroom all by herself for almost the entire month. Enough time to develop a new habit as adult "experts" say. And once again, I am only sharing my bed with my loud snoring husband!

They grow up. It happens slowly. Honestly right before our eyes.

I never thought The Boy would potty train. Stubborn, he was! But you know what, we kept trying and he learned it. Same with reading. Same with fractions.  The amount of time I have spent studying sight words, multiplication tables, and how to do fractions is exhausting if I stop to think about it. And the joy of that in our household is that soon we will start that process all over again as The Short Chic starts school. I know that  as frustrating as it can be to go through that, eventually, it does level out. The Boy does his own studying now. At times I even feel; dare I say, useless in his world.

They grow up.

The Short Chic is in a whiny, temper-tantrum stage right now. There are days when I can't really stand the sound of her voice. It feels like she will never learn to communicate her needs without screaming, stomping, or crying. But, life with The Boy tells me she will learn it.

The Boy has driving on his brain. In four months he is eligible to get a drivers permit. As with most teens, he is anxious and tells me on  a daily basis how impatient he is about driving. It is one of the last things he needs me for right now. Transportation, cooking, and cleaning.

So, yes, I have done things a little different. I get one child through a stage, hopefully successfully, and then repeat it a few years later.

They both are growing up. And you know what, they do it quickly. Honestly, right before our eyes.

Yesterday, The Husband and I attended the wedding of a friend's daughter.  My husband and the bride's father have been life long friends. He was around when she was born. I am relatively new to their lives. I have only been on the scene for seven years. But, I can tell you, the bride was in elementary school when I came along.

And now she is grown up.

It was a very bittersweet moment. Here is his little girl getting married. He was not ready to let her be grown up. Yet, she is. I think he would rather she be screaming out in the middle of the night that she had a bad dream. Or having her patter into his room to tell him Santa has come. I think he might have been ready to drive her to college, more so than watch her get married. To say good-bye to the little girl who is now a woman.

Because they grow up quickly.

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