These Yet Unanswerables

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

13 years of parenting has taught me more than any other thing I’ve ever done in life. No matter how prepared you are you aren’t ever quite prepared enough. 13 years. Whoa. My baby child is shedding a time of life that we can’t regain. Ugh, so brief— childhood only a pause in the on-going mixed tape. 13 years of parenting has been exceptionally challenging, although, not in expected ways.

I’m supposed to be more prepared for this moment, more self-reflective, a better role model. I’m supposed to be everything I expect of myself and twice more and elated and strong and healthy and, and, and. Instead I find myself questioning all of my belief systems: is this way of living good enough for my kids? What am I passing on? How will they look back on this time? Do they get enough time in the wild? No. Have I set them up with the best possible opportunities for the future? No. Do they eat well enough? No. Do they love themselves? ________.

Do they love themselves? Do they listen to their own needs? Do they have self-worth? Do they feel loved? These yet unanswerables keep me up nights. If I only accomplish one thing, please, let it be that they enter adulthood with a deep sense of self-worth and love.

13 years to gear up for these next seven crucial ones.

I imploded in adolescence. At this distance, I see all too clearly all the uber hard choices I made along the way. I can’t fail my kiddos. Yet, at the same time, I cannot—I repeat—I cannot weigh my self worth based on how they turn out. I have spent 13 years enmeshing the fibers of our beings to one another, tending to their everything; and the next 10 will be a process of uncoiling, of holding space that I’m not invited into. As if the first decade of parenting is an extended welcoming, an on-going getting to know each other and the second decade of parenting is the drawn-out au revoir, the disentangling.

This next chapter of my family’s story is not yet written and, damn it, what has passed does not have to dictate what will come. Everything will be different. No matter how prepared you are you aren’t ever quite prepared enough.

Z is a good person. She is smart and motivated, determined and huge hearted. I am seriously effin lucky to know her. Bringing her into the world was the hardest work my mind and body had ever had to do. Watching, feeling, supporting her in creating ever widening circles away from me catches my breath and with it my soul. Happy Birthday Z, love. Here’s to many more years of deep, deep breathing.


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