Parents of younger children look aghast when I tell them my daughter just left home for university. I am incredulous when I hear how hard it was for them to leave their child at daycare or send them to overnight camp.
I learned to knit when I was a Brownie, but it was hard. Instead, I learned to cork (sounds like a dance move, no?). Remember how you just pounded some nails into a wooden spool et voila, you’ve got a corker. You could make all the pot holders you could ever desire.
I admit, I thrive on a certain level of busyness, though I am now trying to do so without burning the proverbial candle at both ends. I’m no use to anyone if I’m exhausted.
I struggle with striking a balance between encouraging them to be independent (do your own laundry, run your own errands, make your own lunch) and not wanting to be unhelpful. After all, if I want them to do ME a favour, I should do them favours sometimes too, right?
Where my husband and I were once intricately involved with our daughters’ junior school, by the time they got to high school all those movie nights and chocolate bar sales seemed a blurred memory of the past.
The common refrain from parents has always been “girls are easier than boys when they’re younger, but they make up for it in the teenage years.”
We loved the small elementary school our girls attended, but one of the disadvantages was is that their peer groups were small, too. If they didn’t like the kids in their class, they were pretty much out of luck.
But it was I who needed to thank the school. I had no idea how much our elementary experience would shape our views on parenting and parental involvement, public education, volunteering – you name it.
It’s a rite of passage for most teenagers – getting behind the wheel of the family car. Similarly, it’s a rite of passage for parents to white knuckle a few rounds in the passenger seat.
My kids and their friends hardly ever use the phone to speak to each other. Even their cell phone is rarely spoken into unless my husband or I – gasp – phone them. (Sometimes I’m too tired to text.) As a result, we often have no clue with whom (or when) they are communicating.