Friday, March 13, 2009

Unrequited love

That's what the relationship becomes between mothers and kids as the kids grow up. Mothers stay crazy about their kids no matter how old or independent those kids get. Kids, on the other hand, outgrow their mothers.

Sometime during adolescence, kids start tossing clues around that maybe spending Saturday afternoon at the mall with Mom isn't on their list of Top Ten Favorites anymore; and that taking a slow trip up the coast with the parents isn't as charming as it used to be; and that, actually, conversing with Mother over a leisurely dinner isn't especially engaging.

It takes a while for mothers to get it, and then it takes a while longer for mothers to accept it. But accept it we must. Because if we aren't raising our kids to be independent and self-sufficient, then what are we raising them for? Mothering them when they were small was important; letting them go when they're grown is equally important. In fact, it's the point.

There comes a time when spending the day shopping or exploring a museum or seeing a movie with you is fun again. They do crave your company sometimes, and not just when they need advice or a babysitter or a place to stay. But once they're grown you aren't the center of their universe anymore, while they stay at the center of yours forever.

And that's just life.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Yah, I'm finding that to be so with a 14 year old now. I sometimes find myself at odds. Kid with an attitude and not wanting to be told what to do, but coming face to face with those things that still remain non-negoiatable. Nope, they haven't changed just because you're 14 now. One day they're a kid and the next you see the future adult.

If there has been a particularly rocky day with the kid, I make it a point to go in while he's asleep to see the sweetness that he has, remind myself that I love him and remember... :-)

Yah, he'll always be the center of my uninverse...

debtink said...

Now that my son is away at college, I find myself thrilled to get a call or an email asking for my "advice."

He's always been a fascinating kid - think Augustin Burroughs with a bent toward science rather than writing. Talking with him can either be a completely fascinating, or completely frustrating depending on the stance he takes.

For spring break - he WANTS to go do things we did when he was a kid. Maybe it's because he misses those things or because I am OK with his boyfriend from Florida coming to spend the first 4 days of his break here with him.

McMama said...

Hi, ladies. It's good to know I'm not alone out here.

Sia, I used to do that, too. For the most part now, my kids (except for Recalcitrant Teen, of course) are too old for me to check on them in their sleep. And since RT likes to sleep in a pitch-black room, it's difficult to do with her, too. I'm forced to power through on the basis of their general good-people-ness. Sigh.

Deb, my son came home from school every single weekend during his freshman year. I couldn't figure that out, but my eldest daughter eventually explained that he missed my cooking, and especially the salads. After all those years of complaining about salad...