Friday, October 13, 2017

The Hardest Thing


While I was talking to my sister the other day we were talking about how all the nieces and nephews are grown. In some cases even their children are grown and have children. The family keeps expanding. It is a wonderful fact of life.

My nephew and his wife recently watched their only child marry. Then because her husband is in the military the newlyweds moved far away.

The parents miss them so much. My niece is wondering how they will fill their empty nest. Personally I think their dog will be happy to fill the spaces.

All my children are grown. My oldest is 50 and the youngest will be 44 in a few days. I watched them grow into people that I would have as friends even if they weren't my children.

During the time they were busy growing I enjoyed them. I never dreamed they would one day want to have homes of their own. They were just babies after all.

When a child was ill I often took them to bed with me. It made it easier to know when they needed something. I was comforted by that.

One of my son's had the flu. When it was time for us to all go to bed I told him to crawl into my bed. He looked at me and said, "Don't you think I'm a little too old for that?" I felt like I had been caught stealing cookies from the jar.

One at the grocery store with my oldest son I looked over to say something to him and screamed. He was embarrassed and yet trying to understand what was wrong with me.

I knew he was growing up. But it really disconcerting to look at your little boy and see that his eyes are at the same level as yours.

My youngest son was living with the young woman who became his wife. They had two children together. They started very young.

My son was working and had his own health insurance. He had a bad virus. He had been vomiting and his wife decided he needed to see a doctor.

The doctor refused to treat him because he would not be 18 until the following month. He needed his mother to authorize treatment.

They came to get me and we went right back to the doctor's office. By that time my son was so dehydrated that his legs would not work. We carry/dragged him inside. He was put into a wheelchair and I signed papers.

When my son's name was called his wife got up and accompanied him and the nurse who pushed his wheelchair back to see the doctor. I never had such a strange feeling before or since.

She was the right person to go with him. I knew that. It had always been my job before.

I have said for years the hardest thing about being a parent is letting go.






21 comments:

  1. Oh, this was a good one! A mother SO wants her child to grow up, but it really is hard when they don't need us in the wonderful way they once did.

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  2. When I was fifty, my oldest was miffed! Do you know how old this makes me! When she was fifty, we didn't say a word. The little one was fifty this year.

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    1. One of my sisters is 4 years younger than me. She was one of those who believed that a person should not be older than 30 I get great joy reminding her that she is now 66.

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  3. I have been a parent for 47 years, Emma. I understand. Certainly hospital forms are familiar to us but still, we must comply for the best --despite our offsprings' commitments to independence. You did the right thing when the right thing was needed. Brava!

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    1. Only a parent can understand how it feels. It is the natural way but it is a strange feeling.

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  4. I have no children but I can still understand the feeling of not wanting to let go. Have a great Sunday. Diane

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  5. My older sister is a take-charge woman who is also a nurse. When her married son cut some fingers off with a circular saw, she got into a tiff in the ER with his wife over who was in charge, and the wife, appropriately, won.

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    1. I am also a take charge person. I am smart enough to know that in order to keep my children I have to let their spouses take over. I hope your sister and her daughter-in-law have reconciled their difference of opinion.

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    2. The sister admitted that the daughter-in-law behaved appropriately. The son--one of two--long ago remarried, and I have no idea how well my sister gets along with those women. I just know that she doesn't get along with me because she's way to intrusive into my affairs. She thinks my life is a mess, that I need her help to run it, and she's going to give that help whether I want it or not. Even if she were right about me not being able to run my own life, the fact that she insists on pushing her advice on me suggests to me that she has her own problems. How this "helpfulness" plays out with other people in her life, I have no idea because I have contact with them.

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    3. I will assume that you are right about your sister. She will drive people away with unsolicited advice and that is sad. Can you set any boundaries so that when the two of you interact it can be pleasant instead of confrontational? I never like to hear of family members not getting along.

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    4. "Can you set any boundaries so that when the two of you interact it can be pleasant...

      No, she says she's going to give me advice whether I want it or not. She's 79, and I don't know if some age-related changes are responsible for her behavior or not. I have worried about how much she drinks, and have wondered if that explains some of her behavior. It's just the strangest thing to have her be intent on fixing me, when I perceive her as so screwed up. I wish I had a relationship with someone else who knows her so I could ask if it's just me she's focused on or if she's this way with others.

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    5. I am certain she is trying to show that she cares about your welfare. She may not know another way of showing you. Perhaps she is insecure about herself and feels that "fixing" someone else will validate her existence. I am sorry that this will probably not be resolved.

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  6. I totally agree with that last sentence. On another note, I never thought your children were that age. I imagined them to be in their early 20s, maybe mid 20s. Don't know why. :-)

    Great post.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Some of my grandchildren are in their 20's. That is how I have three beautiful great-granddaughters.

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  7. Completely agree with this dear Emma!

    my younger (14) son is so naughty and always tease his younger brother (11) so he shouts see mom he is saying this and that to me .
    to restrain i have to be strict sometimes and what makes me at peace and joy is that above everything(scolding) he cares for my health and though he can't control his nature much longer still after realizing his mistake he come and hugs me say sorry and house be still for while .

    My eldest son is in Germany now and manage call every day as he knows i need to hear him at least few minutes .
    I know time will come when distances will grow but still i can't accept to even think about hat times.

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    1. Maintaining a happy home is also hard. Soon they will both be grown and become good friends. Hang on until then.

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  8. as another reader who has never had children, I can understand your feelings, Emma. I do have "children" through my marriage and now grandchildren.

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    1. It is so hard sometimes to allow them to lead their own lives without trying to lead them through life.

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