Parenthood – or “Sucks when they love someone else”
“We can’t know what others need, so wanting for others is as futile as worrying.” – Amanda
I want my son to be happy. HIS definition of happy – not mine.
To have nothing but bright paths before him. Or at least to possess the sight to see a light at the end of a dark path.
To have a dream, a goal and no matter how hard it might be to obtain, to strive for it.
Most of all – I want someone to love him for every single thing that he is – and isn’t yet.
Like I do.
This is a topic I’ve touched on to some degree, then backed off of – then contemplated, then touched on again.
In a nutshell – I think I’ve been very ignorant assuming my son’s maturity and toeing out of the nest affected me more than a parent with a partner.
I’ll be brutally honest here, (much to my son’s chagrin, although, he supports what I write.)
My son had a hard time growing up. He was sensitive (a good thing now) he was artistic (a good thing now) he was emotional and creative and … bullied.
To the nth degree.
(* I called my son to ask him, what else was there? He answered “I don’t know … no, I tend to forget all that – coping mechanism and what not”)
Elementary School was no fun for my boy.
Middle School was no fun for my boy.
High School was no fun for my boy.
And I pleaded to any higher power that had my attention that he could just survive it and KNOW one day what an amazing, beautiful, talented person he was.
One day, he met someone.
I don’t know how. I mean, I do now, but at the time I was out of that loop and needed to be.
And she loved him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For all he was! She loved my boy!
(And my boy got laid. Yeah, I’ll say it.)
I was SO glad.
(Not in a creepy way. LOL!)
Turned out it was more than a brief encounter, and he has loved this girl since.
I couldn’t be happier for the loyalty he exhibits. Truly.
It’s been almost 2 years now (In April – yes, I remember. It matters to Nic, it matters to me.)
I truly hope they found their ‘one’ in one another.
But I also couldn’t be sadder for the boundaries he doesn’t have and the concessions he makes.
I’ll leave that there – because I know I’ve had a lot of relationships that my mom has not approved of – that I’ve let her down – that I’ve hurt her with who I loved.
I’m not saying Nic is doing this – I’m saying … I know that we have to make mistakes.
And I hope that the person Nic is with, he gets to grow WITH and make mistakes WITH and not be perpetual ‘relationship’ kryptonite like me.
I reached out to some friends for their insight.
Not about Nic – but about being the center of someone’s world for a couple of decades – and then … just not being that.
There’s a mourning that goes on you know?
Or maybe you don’t – and that’s why I’m writing this piece.
Imagine being married to someone for 20 years. Taking care of them, laughing with them, sharing experiences and memories and private jokes – sharing firsts together. Learning together.
Then suddenly they’re doing those things with another person and every night you spent worrying, every day you spent doing your best for a better life for the two of you – done. Not done. But … the way things used to be is done.
As it should be.
As my friend Betty said:
“Honestly it is one of the hardest things I had to deal with (letting the kids go) but I had to look at all the good I gave them to be able to survive that cliff. (and pray) You know what, it’s a lot harder on us than them. It’s an adventure to them.”
Doesn’t make it any easier on the one at home still completely in love with their kid huh?
Guess that’s why moms and dads never stop being moms and dads. And we won’t appreciate, nor realize it, until WE are parents.
I asked my friend Sandy (She was my cheerleading squad leader) how it was for her … being with her High School love and all, I figured, they’d be at peace with it:
When Mikey finally decided to date he was 17 he just fell head over hills for the girl and her Dad 3 months in their relationship got a great job opportunity to be a construction site director for Trump towers in Las Vegas. Bad news he asked if Mikey would come with them .
Okay I hope I did not ramble too much and I relayed that although it is life altering, it is natural to feel all that you are feeling. But you know you will always be their first girlfriend.
I think there’s a part of me that still feels like I have a say in his life because I’m supporting him. “Live under my roof, under my rules” sort of thing – that I HATE! Ug.
My parents charged me rent. I decided not to do that. I wanted Nic to focus on school, not work. And that was the first of the dominos to fall with his relationship.
I knew what he was capable of.
I knew that focusing on two things at once with any sort of success (Keeping in mind, my kid is fucking smart! But has NO time management) was NOT going to happen.
Encouragement from his loves side of the camp arrived at ‘work’.
I resented that.
I resented that – because while I knew he SHOULD be working, I wanted him to FOCUS on college. And was willing to support him.
Then came ‘the contract’.
I don’t have a cell phone. My son does. And it costs about $70 more per month than I have for such a thing. Turns out, his loves family put him on their family plan. But …. um … he lives with me? And $70 is a LARGE amount of money and he had other things coming up? How about insurance for a car? Helping with everyday things?
How about maybe, just maybe, asking the person he lived with about it?
Thus the divide began to divide some more. He has obligations outside of the house that he cannot begin to obligate himself to. And anyone that KNEW him, would know this.
I wanted him (refer to top) to focus on getting a degree. Not making a payment.
Then I think of all I ‘sacrificed’ (lol, you’re suppose to DO that! Kids come first) – Nic came first, most of his life – and why do I expect the same from a 19-year-old???
And I assumed, in return, a mutual necessity for success.
As for his love – I have to make the not so crazy leap, that she may be the mother of my grandchildren. And here I am, not so crazy about her.
And I know it’s partly because I don’t want my son loving someone more than me – and how selfish and sick is that??????????
She’s smart, pretty – loves animals. She focuses on her education, excels, loves my boy.
What’s not to love?
I won’t be cruel here – but bottom line, I don’t think it’s healthy when one person is dominant in any relationship.
What I HAVE learned, in my 45 years is that a partnership is a partnership. Compromise – no put downs – no making someone feel less than.
I may not be capable of having such a relationship, but I know what one is. (that sounded seriously Forrest Gumpy to me lol)
Hey. Hey you with the toddler … Pick ’em up. Give them a big ginormous hug from me and know that time fly’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fast, you won’t believe it. And one day – you will not be their “Up! Up!”