Saturday, May 22, 2010

Raising you

Raising you in your infancy-early childhood was a cakewalk. I must admit that.As a first time mother I never really felt at a loss or helpless at any point of time.You listened, you rebelled, you threw tantrums, you screamed and yelled when things didn’t work your way and you were a stubborn baby. But yet it was a cakewalk. As a first time mother, I had to rely on only one strength of mine in raising you-- my intuition. No Dr Spock could teach me that. It was innate and I relied on it as a natural process...

I won’t get into the clich├ęd phrase of ‘how time flies’. It does and we know it especially when one has children.

Now you are 15,.I do get nostalgic about the way you have blossomed in to a beautiful (within and without) young lady with a mind of her own. You have strengths that I lack, that of making friends, of confidence, of being immensely mentally organized and yes a beautiful blend of logic and emotion.

Why is it that with time I have stopped using my intuition in understanding you? Is it because I know and sense you have grown up and are less dependant on me in many ways. Why do I forget that like babies, even teens are vulnerable and emotionally ultra sensitive?

Why has my confidence as a mother been replaced with helplessness now? I feel at a loss at handling your emotions. In the peak of the moment, I fail to be objective. I react rather than observe. And I forget to listen.

I forget to listen when you ask me how am I to discover my passion in life...

I react when you speak to me about your friends, some of whom I have distaste for…

And then the damn maternal guilt springs up unknowingly.Its rather strange how it always lurks under the surface.

Your growing up didn’t happen overnight did it? My realization was late. Realization of the fact that hugs just don’t work for a 15 year old like it did when you were younger.Listening, just listening quietly, giving you my undivided non judgmental attention works. No sermons, no patronizing, no exclaiming-“when I was your age”!

I think the beautiful part of parenting you is understanding my own self in a way I have never understood before. I have always wondered, is it that I resent your growing up and your desire to find your wings? Is it the regret of all the mistakes I have made while raising you—the dos and the don’ts, the perfectionist streak that overwhelmed my early parenting days…

Or is it that I am just setting such high standards for myself as a parent? As your mother? Some part of me craves for you to understand what I experience as well and at the peak of the moment; I actually forget you are 15 and not older.

There has been a letting go on my part that was not there earlier. The struggle within me was about letting go of you and a refusal to accept that you have an independent mind of your own. Now that you are away at camp, there is emptiness, yet a sense of appreciation of what you bring into my life each moment that you are with me. There is also a strange sense of relief in knowing that I have grown up as a parent and no longer wish to play a control-game with you.

Love you my teen.