My brother has a saying, although probably universal, “you give what you get.” It is simple and states the obvious. Time and time again, I have been hit straight between the eyes with the simple reality that being a parent is the hardest job ever…and it never ends. The role certainly changes over time but it essentially lasts forever. If you are a parent, you will always be a parent and that particular role, although malleable, essentially remains the same. It isn’t about you, it is about your kids.
The more time I spend on the phone or bbm’ing with our oldest daughter Jessica, it is me asking the questions and listening to her. She is relatively interested in my life but essentially it is me listening about her life, her ideas, her thoughts, her friends, etc. Why wouldn’t it be? It was the relationship that was created from the get-go. I will always be her Mom and I will always be the person for her to bounce ideas off of knowing that I will be positive yet honest at the same time. I want to hear about everything because she is our kid. I adore her…I adore them all. I hope that I will be that person to lean on forever. Will I find myself ever leaning on them…not so sure about that one because the relationship we set up from the very beginning is that we are their support system, we are there for them, we are their rock, their foundation, their guidance. Doesn’t mean that we don’t involve every one of them in endless conversations about the world today or businesses that we are invested in because we trust their opinions and observations but we are listening to them more than they might be listening to us.
Each kid is so different. Different needs, different desires, different aspirations, different personalities, different anxieties, different everything. Going through their teenage years are not easy. Personally, I have put myself in a position where I am playing in so many sandboxes these days that it is overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. Regardless, all of the stuff I have going on, from moving to businesses to everything I do is minor compared to the job as a Mom. That takes first place and will always take first place because their happiness, their ideas, their interests and what they are doing, in the end, is what makes me happy. Although certainly exhausting and at times concerning…am I giving the right advice, am I doing the right thing, will they embrace me ten years from now are the thoughts that frequently ramble through my brain…in the end, it is truly one of the dearest things to my heart, and it is all about them and probably always will be and that absolutely works for me.