On being a parent…

Yesterday I sat on the sofa to work on C’s laptop. At the same time he was backing up a whole photo library. All OUR photos. OUR family photos. Some of them I hadn’t seen for ages. And then I realised, life goes too quickly. I know it is not a fact of life that I have personally come to the conclusion, others before me have come to this. Sometimes though, you need to figure it out yourself.

I was watching these films of the boys being small, so small that they couldn’t hold a proper sentence for one and not even pronounce a word for the other. I realised that I didn’t remember that time, that if it wasn’t for these films I wouldn’t remember what their voices sounded like. These expressions that were part of my daily life are now a memory so far away that I wouldn’t know that E used to say “yes peas” for “yes please” when he was just under 2 years old. Or even how he was saying it.

He is 6 years old now. He is big, bossy, clever and can read a book. At the time he was still uneasy on his feet.

One thing stroke me though is how I have spent the last 6 years of my life totally enthralled in their lives. In the daily routine that is so necessary. In the endless hours of repeating the same actions over and over and adapting constantly to a change in their lives. Of sometime desperately looking forward to a change: of when they will eat solid, then eat by themselves, then being potty trained, then able to dress themselves, no more buggies, then preschool a couple of half days a week, then every morning, then school. Then we are now.

I have never wished their life away and very often would kick myself for doing so if I was, but you can’t help it, it is human. Being a parent is draining and constant. It never ever pauses. Even when you are not with them you breathe, live and plan your life mainly for them. It is rewarding, fun and full of the most amazing emotions you can ever feel.

It gets better every year, but with every year passing by you get closer to letting them fly the nest. It makes you responsible for making the right choices and giving them the right foundations so that they can take on the world, its beauty and its challenges full of confidence and trust that you will always be their safe haven if they ever need it.

Being a parent is being the person who is pushing them gently to live an independent life, until they leave you behind, feeling full of pride and love for this human being that now doesn’t need you so much anymore… But the last thing I want is to forget how they were when we were a team… just us


summer 2009