I’ve been writing a good deal about me while only skimming the surface of me as a parent. Per my earlier posts regarding convergence. For those that know me well, this is beyond unusual. That aspect of myself that is a parent – it usually is the essence of entire conversations.
My kids and parenting have been a huge part of life for longer than the my children have been alive.
Parenting is also beyond hard. It requires a million acts of self-sacrifice. It requires stepping outside your own personal worldview on an on-going basis so as to better understand the humans you are raising who are not younger versions of you. It’s often not about me and what I need as a person. It’s often all about them and what they need.
It is unbelievably time and financially consuming beyond anything anyone ever explained to me before my kids arrived. It changes EVERYTHING.
I get why some people choose to not become parents and absolutely respect that 100%.
All that said. . . for me, it is without a doubt the best thing I have done with my life.
I have three young adults that I’ve seen grow into amazing people. Each so thoroughly unique and different than anything I ever expected.
They are seriously the greatest achievement of my 49 years on the planet.
However, even this post about them is vague and will mostly stay that way for now.
Why? Because my kids have not yet given me permission to write about them. And, I can’t write about my parenting experiences and stories in detail without revealing things about their lives.
I hope that they will grow comfortable enough to be part of my writing because. . . I do have such deep parenting stories, lessons, and humorous seemingly-tall-tales to share.
Nevertheless, that’s almost all the hints I’ll leave here now. . .
This post is inspired by what I am up to this evening. Two of my three kids are very into music — it drives a large part of their lives. However, the interaction and role of music in their lives is quite different.
In fact, all three have substantially different styles and engagement with music.
One of the three has an very varied taste and is constantly finding music that I likely never would have learned if not for their exploration of new and modern alternative rock.
Tomorrow, I must wake at about 5:40 am in order to drive to the staff pre-meeting for an all-day business meeting that starts at 7:30 am.
Tonight though, is not about me.
It’s about my kid for whom music is a solace, a life-saver, and perhaps a future livelihood.
For that kid, I’ve driven almost 2 hours in pouring rain and on a Friday night to see an obscure but musically awesome band: Now, Now.
There are so many little things that needed to be done to make this evening both possible and successful.
The list is long and would reveal much about the kid. So, I’ll just leave this post about me for now. For myself, the impact this evening had on me.
Sometimes, as a parent, our kids have no idea the extent to which we will go for them. One of the things that happened tonight is that I was banged and pushed around in the crowded venue literally hundreds of times. Why? Because I stood slightly behind and to the side of my kid so that wouldn’t be banged and pushed by people trying to get from one place to another in the open space. . . that was filled with far too many people to be called an open space!
Similar to a post recently made by one of my good friends, I knew I could handle getting knocked around. I’m an adult women. We deal with that #$%@ on a regular basis. I also knew that being knocked around would impact the kid far differently than me – both physically and emotionally.
I might be small, but I physically blocked the wall jut space the kid had found.
Two side notes to this experience. Firstly, after about the 100th time being shoved, I realized that there was a guy standing about 1 foot from my side — a caucasian dude about 5’9″ in a nice leather jacket. He was barely ever pushed aside by people trying to get from point A to point B by enlarging the space between us. Nope, almost every time it was me not him. In addition, of all the 100s of people that pushed me, only 2 apologized and only one said, “Excuse me.” before making their way through. People are rude!
I suspect my child has no idea that I was doing this all evening. I don’t need them to know or acknowledge it. I did it for them. It wasn’t about me. I did it so that the memory of their first rock concert wasn’t filled with this piece of negative human interaction. Next concert, perhaps they’ll have to manage that piece of being in a crowded sea of people. This time, I could be the silent Mom support, wear my cape in secret, and help to solidify a memory for them.
My “job” as a parent is two-fold. To help them learn how to become (1) self-sufficient functional adults who can contribute to society and (2) ensure they have a supported environment in which to travel that complicated and very individual journey.
However, anytime it is possible to go beyond that and also help to make that journey enjoyable and meaningful, I’ll do my darndest to achieve that as well.
Picture prompts are for me and by me.
318 Days to go
(c) Randi Sumner