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Parents of adult children- where you at?
For January, my book club was assigned a book entitled ‘I just want to pee Alone‘ by Some Kick Ass Mom Bloggers. The book was heartwarming, relatable, funny, and overall effortless read. It talked about the transition from sexy 20 something-year-old to hassled and frayed mom. It spoke about annoying plastic toys that sing, spit-up, luxury strollers, and the human bodies’ ability to function after 2 hours of interrupted sleep.
I was able to relate to all the stories. I had been there. However, this is not about my time raising children under five years old. Those days are long gone for me. I am reminded of those days when I go through my Facebook photo album of happy memories. So while it was a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it to any young parent, it fell just a bit short for me personally.
Where were the stories of mothers of teenagers and grown adults? Where were the funny stories of children over the age of 13? Is it so traumatic when children hit puberty that we no longer can talk about it? I think parents of grown adults can easily compete with any parent of a single-digit child. Not that it is a competition, but if it was:
I take the plastic toys that make annoying sounds and raise you x-boxes, play stations, YouTube, and Skull Candy earphones that can seal out the sounds of a crashing plane.
I see your luxury stroller that can fold into a 4-inch box and fit into your purse, and raise you two first cars that leak oil on the driveway and spend more time not running than being reliable transportation.
You will counter me with stories of spit up and various ways that your child pees on you? I raise the pot by adding the first 3:00 am phone call where your 19-year-old tells you that they are drunk, don’t know where they are, but they need you to pick them up because they don’t have a coat, and it’s the middle of an Alaskan winter.
I will add to that with a son that tells you via text that he has packed two suitcases and bought a one-way ticket to the other side of the country. To add a feeling of comfort to this, he will live in a town where he knows one person, and the average paying job is $12.00 at the local McDonalds.
And this is just one year of my life as a mother of adult children.
Where are these relatable stories? Do we have a support group? Where the hell is our book? Why is it when our children turn 18, we are no longer allowed in the motherhood club?
My time as a young parent was terrific, stressful, and full of breakdowns and crying in the shower. I have happy memories of hissy fits at the grocery store, Kazoo musical shows at the elementary school, and over 18 years’ worth of the first day of school mishaps. They warm my heart, and maybe I will write a book on raising three boys in a divorced family who lives on the other side of the country from each other. You know- a feel-good story of what not to do with your life.
However, that is not where I am now. I have two adult children and one very old 14 year old, and all of them are extraordinary independent until it is time to do the laundry or clean their bathrooms.
My life is full of extreme silence as they ignore my presence and sprinkle with moments of ‘you ruined my life’ and ‘can I borrow some money?’
Do not get me wrong; my children love me. I know that they do. There are random moments when I cook everyone’s dinner, and they stand in the kitchen and tell me about their day. Or sometimes I get texts from my oldest that says, ‘If you want to, you can call me. I have nothing going on.’ Those are moments that I live for. Moments where I feel like I am still a part of their life. However, I am no longer the coach but more like the announcer sitting above the stadium watching the game but not really participating.
It’s a strange feeling to be needed for so long and knowing that their lives literally depend on you and your actions- and then overnight to be cast as a stagehand. I wish someone would have told me how to get through this period of life.
Therefore, all my dear friends of adult children- send me your best blogs, stories, pictures, and songs. We are forming a new club! Let’s give these young parents something to really look forward to! And they thought it got easier with time! We will write a book together on navigating the murky waters of the teenager and adult children.
I am laughing because these young parents have no idea what a roller coaster of ‘oh-shit’ moments is in store for them!
P.S. My oldest just text me- he is leaving for Marine Boot Camp tomorrow.