I remember when my youngest son turned 10; this was a big birthday as it always is for children – suddenly they are into the double digits. They are tweens and seem to be rapidly heading towards the beginning of an independent stage in life. On the cusp of their teen-age years. Once into the teens, parents have to nurture themselves for quite a while on the fading memories of the sweet, loving, child they reared (if that was ever the case).
Parents of teenagers rarely get a glimpse of their little darling once they cross-over into that second decade. As should happen, their kids begin to pull away and measure themselves, not be parental approval, but both by their peers and by their own standards. Now I’m into the month that my baby, that youngest child, turns 20.
Raising three children, we’ve had fifteen years of teenage drama, loud voices, worry, lessons and sports of every kind, driving licenses, worry, accidents, in short, the general fun, anxiety, and mayhem that teens create. Now I will no longer have a teenager in the house. I should be feeling delighted, but instead I’m feeling deflated. “Parenting” is a complex verb.