As usual, I am not actually talking about myself growing up (as that would be far too easy of a topic, since I have not apparently done any growing up yet). So, I am referring to my pride and joy, my son and daughter, who I have lamented, complained, and expressed joy over right here not that very long ago. Recently, if you have forgotten or skipped those entries, I have been having issues with successfully causing my son to be more interested in trying to succeed at school, as well as to get him to wait on joining the LDS, as since it is quite a commitment, I want him to be sure he really wants to do it. My daughter, not so many issues, just the development of the ever-present teen age girl thrust out hip, hands on hip at right angle, with heavy sigh and rolling of the eyes.
So, my daughter thinks I am old and out of touch ( and to be honest, she is quite right, as she and her friends most definitely represent the current culture in its infancy). At least she she has a good head on her shoulders and usually makes responsible and good decisions. It is, again, more my son that is worrying me at this time. Not only does he think I am out of touch, but he thinks now that he doesn’t really need to listen to me and heed what I say. He more considers it to be something he might consider instead. He is failing 4 out of 5 classes. The only one he is passing is PE. That is not really my idea of an achievement. Now that he is identified with the LDS, I can’t say anything about how the world works, how people are, because he changes every statement to “that’s not how it is with LDS”–which is not really the point I am trying to make anyway. I’m usually trying to explain how people or organizations or bureaucracies or just the nature of man works. And now, he can never accept that as something that is generally a truth. Now, everything becomes a battle about beliefs, religions, and dogma, rather than just a simple explanation of the world. I feel I have lost him. I have lost him because my son, the son I raised, was raised to be open-minded, to be able to have a conversation about ideas and philosophies and various people, various societies and various religions, without any need to threaten or be threatened because it is different than what you may have chosen to adopt as your beliefs. But now my son is threatened by any conversation that includes different beliefs, religions, or cultures. Now, the only discussion he has is why his chosen religion is the right one.
I know I need to let go. I know my kids are almost grown anyway. I know all these years of parenting have been with the goal of them becoming adults and making their own decisions and living their own life and making their own mistakes without me being there to stop them or pick them up. I think I am having a hard time finding the line between letting them go, and still being there to keep them from falling and to catch them when they start to. How do I know when to steer them on a different path, or when to pick them up, or when to catch them? I know I need to let go. It’s becoming quite obvious, and painful for us all. Do I hold on at all? Or do I really let them go, and just help them up if they need it? All the life as a parent, to me it was always clear what I was supposed to do and not do. But the truth is, now, I have no idea what my role is, and I feel completely lost and bewildered, wandering aimlessly through the black forest with no idea what I should be looking for. Part of me wishes they were already grown and leaving. Part of my just wants this to be over now. But the other part of me is terrified of what I’ll be when they are gone, since being a parent is all I have ever done. Without them, this tension and confusion will certainly be ended, but what purpose will I have left in my life? What point will there be to my continuing on alone? I fear I will find that I am obsolete when the kids become adults.