Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The Truth about Parenting
The truth about parenting is that nothing can fully prepare you for it. You can talk to a bunch of other parents and read a bunch of books, but, in the end, your child will look expectantly in your direction, and you'll think: Lord have mercy, I'm responsible for helping this person when I need so much help, myself.
Different phases will affect you differently. I'm a champion breastfeeder, which is good in that I start parenting with a bang (or a gush), but bad in that, so far, it seems like my best is behind me by month fourteen or fifteen of a child's life, and then what?
I'm not so great at parenting two- and three-year-olds. I have one of each, at the moment. I yell too much.
With Cade, I enjoyed years four through nine. I cried for three days when he turned ten. At the time, I didn't know why, but now I do. And just when it seemed like we might be figuring it out, again, he started creeping up on thirteen. Last month, he fell over the edge.
I've never been here, before. He's a young man and a startlingly beautiful one, at that, but, already, I miss his other face. I know it's gone forever; did I look at it enough? Did I commit it to memory or, at least, take enough photos of it?
I'm grieving a bit. I realize that's ridiculous; I mean, I have loved ones whose sons have gone to heaven, and I'm whining because mine is growing up. But I do feel a little unsettled.
His grades have slipped, and his dad is so laid back that he might as well be dead. I hung up on him the other day. It was like old times.
On the other hand, Jim's so uptight that, in comparison, I'm looking dead-ish, myself. I feel like bait on a trotline what runs between these two men. Do you see me squirming? Everything rushes by fast and cold, and I'm just trying to catch the ever-growing fish that is the boy.
I have to find my own way, and it may not be the best way, but I can't pretend to be Jason or Jim. I have to be myself. I'm in the waters with the boy, and my hands are open. Lord, help.