As a Parent, I have always been confident. Xandru was only a few days old, and I would hold him in one arm. Not for any reason other than feeling comfortable. That feeling has continued through all the struggles and joys of raising two boys. Being 15 and 11, I understand we have a long way to go as Lisa and I have made a great team in practicing our parenting skills so far.
Along the way you hit milestones and you realize that a part of parenting is over! Some of these things make you jump up and down like potty training.
Then there are the moments in time, that you stop and pause and say to yourself, THIS IS IT. This part is over. Like the first time you notice your son is not a baby anymore, instead a little boy or is turning into a young man, then a young adult!
Just in the past week, I have a had a few of those moments.
I was scheduled to go on a field trip with Brogan’s 5th Grade Class and I realized that this was the last field trip that parents are allowed and invited to go on. During middle school, the field trips are teachers/admins only. I have been going on field trips with these same kids for 6 years, and as unruly they are sometimes they are generally a good group of kids. For me, Brogan being our youngest, this was the last field trip EVER that I would be on. The new reality.
Also this week, Brogan reached out to me to shake my hand. It was a firm and confident shake. As weird as it may sound, I couldn’t help but feel proud. Proud knowing that he has become a confident young man who Lisa and I have raised to be this way. Another Milestone Moment!
Just last night, on the way home from Easter dinner at Dad’s, we let Xandru drive home. It is about a two-hour drive, through a couple of merges through Chicago traffic that some adults don’t like to tackle. He has been driving for a few months and this was not his first tollway experience, although it was the most congested and longest drive he has had. Although I have been saying all school year, I cannot wait until he gets his license, last night made me think about a child’s dependence on his parents.
While Xandru was driving, I was online looking up information about colleges and briefly talking about the next two years of high school and what comes after. At this point Xandru doesn’t really know what he wants to do, which is totally fine with me, but we as a family need to start making plans. Not a plan for the rest of Xandru’s life, but a plan for finishing high school. What can he be doing now to prepare for two years from now.
In just two short years, Xandru will be graduating high school and preparing for what lies ahead…College? Career? Travel? Internship? Only time will tell.
The one thing I have come to grips with is the older a child gets the less day to day basic needs are provided by parents. And As parent’s we begin to turn into more of a confidant and counselor of life. I’m confident that Lisa and I transitioned or are transitioning into this roll the best way we know how, just as my Mom and Dad did and are still doing for me today.
Parenting never ends, from one person’s Birth to another person’s Death and beyond. The events of life can be frustrating and trying for all parties and in the end the thing that endures is the love and trust you have in each other as you face the milestones together as a family. I work hard and practice every day in parenting skills and my goal is to raise better human beings than I.