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April 16, 2007



Isn't there hope that all of the support, advice, and life lessons given while he still cared what you thought will be incorporated in the decisions he makes now, even though you aren't a part of them? That there is some joy to be had as you look on while your child turns into an adult.

Please say there is.


Oh, sad. If it's any consolation at all - and it may not be right now - he (they) will come back around in a few years. Y'all are amazing parents (P&S used to say they wanted to be parents like the two of you), and the boys will realize that eventually. Maybe even tomorrow! :)



Everybody goes through that gap where his parents are the cause, not the answer to his problems. He'll grow out of it eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later.


when mine were babies, someone told me "the baby stage is the easiest, just way, it gets a lot worse" I hated this person at the time for destroying all hope, but now I wished I had listened. She was right and I wish I had enjoyed the baby stage more in spite of the sleepless nights and endless diapers.


Hey, I live there, too. Nasty, isn't it? I wish my mother was still alive so that I could apologize to her.


I foundone of my gal pals theother day looking quite upset...She just had an argument with her eldest...
He said he hated her...
asnd she told him' that she loved him.
He then said... and all those times I said I loved you I was faking it....
And she said... and all the times I saidi loved you I meant it...I always will...
And his retort...Your funeral...

I sat with her... and my heart ached...Nothing prepares you for the teen years... nothing...and as I have only my nine year old... I shudder at the future... just shudder... as I know the winds are a coming... but nothing will prepare me for the gusts you just described...

Antique Mommy

" When he was the only kid who was overlooked for the Christmas party favors handed out by the Fourth Grade homeroom mothers?" -- that cut me deep.

I'm off to find the gin and the cat's bowl.


I struggle with this from my almost 10 year old. I like to remind him how long he nursed for. (forever) Naturally he knows the one kid in this entire town who nursed longer than he did (4 1/2 years!!). I interpret that reminder from him to mean he thinks I was slacker. I dread his teenage years.


I'm sure in a couple of years he'll be right back to asking for advice and wisdom, and I'm equally sure that's no consolation to you right now. I wish it were, though.


I love this. I'll be tacking it up on my wall to get me through the next ten years.

I'm rapidly approaching this stage with my 8 and 10-year olds. I don't like it. I'm planning on yelling, "I gave BIRTH to you" quite a bit.


He'll be back. I remember thinking my Mom was the biggest moron, totally naive to the things I was going through. It wasn't really that long ago. Six years maybe? *Sigh* It took me about two years to come around. I apologized when I did. Now I realize I was the moron.


You have to accept the continuum.

As parents, our intelligence rolls in a giant wave. When they are infants, we're the smartest people ever to set foot on the planet. Then they learn to say "No", and we become sort of stupid for the first (but not the last) time.

But once they start into school we're smart again, at least until they get to middle school, when our intelligence begins to plummet. It bottoms out around first year University, maybe a bit past that...

... but then, magically, we hit the upslope and get smarter and smarter as they get married, buy houses and cars, and have kids of their own. By the time they're 30, we're frigging founts of knowledge and wisdom.

Sadly, it doesn't last. Suddenly, they're calling with advice for US about getting more exercise, not forgetting our meds, why don't we join some sort of group or volunteer for something ...?

And then, when we're too old to do anything more than talk, they'll hang on our every word. We are the wisdom of the ages.

If you're in a shallow part of the wave, just ride it out. I know it's tough, and I know sometimes it breaks your heart. But I've never learned much from my successes, never as much as from my failures ... so worrying about protecting them from slipping and falling is like being reluctant to let them be all they will become.

The Freedom to Fail. It really ought to be there in the Constitution. Let them falter and flounder, knowing that if things get too bad they can always reach out and your hand will always be there.

THAT is parenting.


Sometimes, as kids, we forget to let you parents know that we want to cling to you just as much as you'd like to cling to us. But sometimes we just go through phases where we want to learn things on our own, and we tend to have a bad way of expressing the fact that we want independence. It'll pass, don't worry.


Last night, I listened to my boy cough and I just *knew* I should have given him some medicine, and that I could have done something more to help him.

Just now, I had to tell my three and four year olds to stop licking the patio window.

What you're saying is, this is going to get worse, huh?

Hugs to you, darlin.


Parenting's a bitch. Totally not eloquent or poetic but I think it captures the feel.


Sigh. Now, see--this part I can handle just fine. It's the "some kid didn't invite him to her birthday party but invited so-and-so" that I couldn't handle. Or the emergency room trips. Or the chicken pox when they wanted to scratch and you had to tell them no and not let them and watch them in agony. This part, where they just are acting like shits or are puzzling things out on their own, for me, that's the easy part. Because to me, it's what all the other really, really hard stuff was all about.


Painful to read but so well written...


Nils summed it up perfectly by saying 'the freedom to fail.' I think it must be incredibly difficult to be a parent, to watch your child making stupid decisions, and to step back and give him or her that freedom.

A close friend of mine is making an incredibly stupid decision right now. I wanted to take him out, talk to him, explain how I felt to him, but I realized that my doing that may only drive a wedge between us.

My friend doesn't need me now: He's happy as a pig in shit making this stupid decision. He will, however, need me to be there for him with open arms when it all goes to Hell and I think that's what a large portion of parenting is about. My parents have rescued me, scraped me up off the floor a number of times and carried me back home. Their ability to go without saying I told you so astounds me. But it is always ever so comforting, because I always have somewhere to go when I screw up, be it doing poorly in class, needing money because I accidentally mis-calculated, or if I totaly fuck up my future.

I can't imagine the heartbreak parents feel when they've tried so hard for so long, invested every morsel of their being into another person, and get it thrown back at them.

But as kids age, I don't think they have a choice but to realize what all parents go through, and they will eventually come around.

Peace to you.


Oh man, I dread that phase. My oldest is approaching it, and it already sucks. But the youngest still very much needs me, so I have some time left.

Oh, The Joys

I think the phase you describe will be the hardest of all. I feel for you. Hang in there.


You know, while reading the first paragraph of this post, I couldn't help thinking about an audio interview I listened to yesterday. It was with one of the boys who was shot at Virginia Tech. The interviewer asked him what was going through his mind when he realized he had been shot and his said that he thought about his mother and how upset she would be.

No doubt there are some rough years ahead. You're right - not giving advice is one of the hardest things. But I also agree with the other comments that, in time, the tide will shift again and he will come back.


You are such a wise mother. You'll know when you should advise and when to watch from a distance, even if he will never ever understand what it did to you.


Maybe 'not reaching out' when you know they have to get on the bike and learn to ride, even if they fall down a bizillion times, is a little bit easier if you concentrate on how they finally did learn to ride that bike. Of the magic moment when it all clicked, and it was partly what you taught them, and partly what they knew by instinct, partly from falling off so many times, and partly from something else magic inside them that just clicked, and suddenly they knew. And they came running back to tell you, "Hey, Mom, I finally did it!" I think that's the part you have to focus on when the waiting gets tough.

(But what do I know.)

ann adams

The girls (greatgrandkids) are 11, 12 and 14 now). I know exactly what you're saying. I find myself walking out of rooms at least twice a day.

My sons though are 34 and 38 and we're closer than we've ever been.

And both of them call mommy for advice.

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