I am at the tail end of parenthood. My first two are successfully out of the house and pursuing their lives, both still at university, one engaged to be married. Getting them to that point hasn’t been easy, but looking back I don’t see the bumps and potholes in the road that got us here.
That leaves me with the two teenage boys at home.
If you are not a parent of teens, I don’t know a good analogy. Maybe grabbing two raccoons by their tails and trying to make them walk forward. Maybe harnessing a lion and a cheetah to a cart and asking them to pull. You get the idea. Give an instruction and either they snarl at you or each other, or, best case scenario, they just lay down on the job.
I’m moving to Maine.
I don’t know what makes Maine my nirvana right now. Maybe it’s the farthest I can go within the contiguous United States without bumping into retirees or Micky Mouse. Maine seems remote, quiet, devoid of people who would snarl and slam doors. (Well, the boys don’t slam, but my daughter sure did!) It seems like the last place they would come looking for me.
I had four wonderful, exuberant, loving little kids. I was the sun their little planets orbited. I took them places, made them cookies, read them stories, and tucked them in every single night with a hug and a kiss. Their smiles lit up my world and their tears shook it to the core. I was their rock, and they were my wings.
Until they got wings of their own.
As my kids hit puberty, they began to look at me askance, as if they were questioning how they could have ever held me in such high regard. Our talks became fraught with underlying meaning, and I tried to verse myself in reading between the lines. I even considered taking a course in mind reading, such was the vast desert of communication. Our lively game nights became fewer and farther between, eventually replaced by everyone sitting silently in front of the television in the living room. Finally they just left the living room altogether for the safety of their respective caves. Any forays into the cave were met with stilted conversations and requests for me to close the door on my way out.
My youngest was still cuddling with me at ten.
I know about child psychology and cutting the apron strings and flying the nest. I know that there is a push-pull relationship between parents and teens. I understand all of that. I don’t want my sons to be mommy’s boys. But head knowledge and heart knowledge don’t always jive. I still want to be important to my kids.
If I’m not, I might as well move to Maine.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If You Leave.”Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?