Today is a day a lot of us will be experiencing over the next few weeks, that oft celebrated and bemoaned day of the year!! The First Day of School!!
This is one of my last firsts that I will have, my youngest is starting the first day of 8th grade!! Kinda a big first. I’m not there, I’m not there taking the requisite first day of school picture that I have taken every year for both kids. I’m not there giving hugs, checking a back pak, signing emergency forms or even taking that deep breath as my baby starts a new journey that will take him a little further away from me.
As a parent, as a mother my biggest goal with my raising my children, teach them to think. Sounds funny, right? But it’s true, as a parent, all I want for my kids is to be happy, not to worry about what others thought. I wanted to instill in them they have the choices, they need to make them, I can’t make those choices for them, I don’t know what will make them happy only they can determine that. Ohhh, trust me, I have bitten my tongue many a time through the years, lately more then ever.Watched as they made choices that would take them down a harder life path, watched as they chose to forage a rougher path. Even as I hurt and ached for them, I proudly watched as each in their own way, they learned who they were and what they believed in and then stood strong. They are both still very young and have so much to learn, see and grow. Personally, I think they have started out really well and even though their paths have taken them further away from me this year, I am ready if they need me.
While watching as both of my kids have made choices that have taken them on paths that are vastly independent of me. And I am so very proud. As much as I have spent questioning my parenting skillz and anguished over raising them, it would appear that I have taught them to think for themselves, to colour outside the lines and forage their own paths!!
The Elusive Teen and Sunshine have returned to Cali after an amazing time in NY!! They decided they needed West Coast Sunshine instead of New York hustle and bustle!! Soooo very proud of them, even if I wanted them to stay.
And, for the first time in over 12 years I am missing a first. The first day of 8th grade for my son. He has chosen to spend this year in the mid-west. While, I am a little sad about this, I am also, really proud of him.
My parenting job isn’t done, far from it, it has just shifted and like all relationships, needs to grow and change. It’s not time to bemoan they are no longer babies but young peoples and celebrate those peoples and embrace who they are becoming. I love who they are and even though I don’t always like their choices, I am eagerly watching them. Err, ok, some of them I’m cringing but still… I wanted to raise strong, independent thinkers and it would appear that I have. *sigh* I love them both with all my heart and while this particular success is bittersweet, it’s what I have!!