By no means am I an expert at anything. Let alone something as important as parenting.
I was clueless when I had babies, as I am now, having raised those babies.
But, there is something I have become very aware of. Having babies and providing for them, and taking care of them…. it’s so easy when they are small enough for you to carry them. There isn’t anything you can’t manage when they are small enough to hold in your arms, carry on your back, or even push in a stroller. You have control of the world. Their world. You have the ability to keep them safe. Provide all of the nurturing. You role model the behavior. You teach the ethics and the ABC’s. You create the world you want them to thrive in. Often times literally carrying them through the moments and the days. Ain’t no one, no one, going to influence your child unless you give the stamp of approval.
Then it all changes.
It’s when they are older. Out in the world without you. Living life without you standing guard. Tempting fates. Interacting with people you don’t know. Going about lives that do not have you as the bumper guard to life that you were for so many years.
There are some life lessons we can help them with. Math, if we’re lucky. Dating and the clueless understanding the sexes have of one another. Saving money. Paying bills, we can teach and guide and hope they pay attention. But no matter what we teach them we always wonder if we covered enough ground. Did we give them enough foundation, advice and guidance. We are still a force to be reckoned with. Though we are not omnipresent, unless we did the job we were entrusted to do when they were so much younger. We hope to be a voice of reason, a voice of question, a voice of debate, in their thoughts and interactions. When we are no longer present for every moment of their lives. The less impact we think we have, the more impact we hope we made as they grew.
The older they get, the less we can protect them. Or help them. Or do for them.
You think them getting older makes it easier to parent. Or there is less worry. I think it is just as much worry, if not more, because there is less you can do. Less you should do. But the worry and the concern and the desire to protect and prod in the right directions never leave.
I’m no expert.
God, I’m no expert.
But I’m always that parent.