The Brady’s said it best when they sang,
“Don’t fight the tide come along for the ride, don’t you see?
When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange, who you are into what you’re gonna be!”
Yes, it’s true, I am seeking wisdom from the idealic family of my youth, The Brady Bunch!
Each year, my children get older, I realize the one thing I can count on as a parent, is that change is inevitable.
Some of those changes are wonderful.
Like when your toddler starts to use the potty and you no longer have to lug along a diaper bag every time you leave the house. Or when your child learns to read and insists on reading you a bed time story, instead of the other way around. Or when your teenager gets his driver’s licensce and can finally drive himself to his 5:30am swim practice.
Some of the changes our children go through are less than wonderful.
Like when your 9 year old refuses to wear any shirt in his draw because anything without a “Nike” logo just isn’t cool. Or when your 6th grader decides he wants to look like a young Justin Beiber and refuses to get his haircut and you realize the days of luring him to the barber with the promise of a lollipop afterwards are long gone. Or when you’re driving your teenager to basketball practice and he asks if he can change the radio station because “your” music is making him nauseous and you want to ask him what’s so offensive about James Taylor’s “you’ve got a friend” but you choose to bite your tongue and curse in your head instead.
As parents, we need to change alongside our growing children. This isn’t always an easy feat, since some of the changes come on quickly and without warning. My 15 year old recently asked me if I’d be serving a green vegetable with dinner.
“We really should be eating more vegetables,” he said in a condescending tone.
Does he not remember, that just a few years ago, I was begging him to eat two more bites of his green beans?
I am pleased my sons have graduated from their rotating menu of Kraft Mac and Cheese, chicken fingers and spaghetti and now enjoy more sophisticated meals that include grilled chicken, steak and fish. It makes me happy to see them enjoy real food. I do sometimes dream about a time when our meals will last longer than five minutes. Sometimes dinner in my house feels like an awkward first date. I dole out the questions and the boys give one word answers, between big bites. It’s like a race to see who can shovel the food in fastest. I remember a time when all they wanted was my undivided attention and now it’s me who is vying for theirs!
Each day, I get a little better at accepting the changes. I constantly have to remind myself that they are growing and developing which means I need to shift my expectations. I am slowly learning to adapt and appreciate them for who they are today. They have become independent in ways I never imagined- doing their own laundry, remembering to take the garbage to the curb on trash day, studying and doing their homework with no prompting from me. Whenever I find myself mourning the babies they once were, I remind myself to celebrate the incredible people they’re becoming.
Thanks so much for reading!
Feel free to forward!