I think it's really important for each of us to remember...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Suz, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    ...how really YOUNG our kids are.

    Some of our kids are still in their teens...some in their 20's...and even a couple older than that.

    And it's still young....comparatively.

    I am not the same person I was at 18...or 20...or even 30.

    Life has a way of teaching us very difficult lessons along the way. And Life also has a way of showing us some pretty wonderful possibilities that we never expected.

    I remind myself every day that Rob "ain't done cooking yet" (to steal a Fran saying).

    Heck, neither am I.

    I would hate to think that I might be stagnant from here on. I would hate to think that I won't make some really incredibly stupid decisions...and hopefully I will make some really incredibly brilliant decisions...in my future.

    Such is the nature of being human........and certainly our difficult children are that...as are we.

    Remembering these things give me hope, and as parents of our kids we always need a pinch of hope.


  2. judi

    judi Active Member

    Suz you are so right! When I was 19, I was in my last semester of nursing school, got stupid, quit going to classes, joined the Navy the next day and shipped out the next day! Fast forward 13 years later - I have a 0.7gpa and want to go back to nursing school. Ugh!

    For me, since we have little to no contact with our son (and in fact have little idea of where he even is living), its about not changing things. I can't move for instance (not that I'm wanting too), I can't change my phone numbers, just in case. The phone rang the other night in the middle of the night and it was the wrong number. However, my heart was pounding so hard, it took me an hour to fall back to sleep. I just hope we survive this! lol

    I always thought it was so hard when he was home....its harder not knowing...what a rambling post this is - sorry...to get back to the point you are trying to make - yes, indeed our kids do have a ways to go in the growing up dept and they are still a work in progress.

    Thank you.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    That's very true. Although I wouldn't have agreed with you back when I was 18-20. :rofl:

    Back then see....... I had the world by the tail and all the answers. Uh er, or so I thought. Life had different ideas.

    I do alot of reminding myself of how I viewed the world and such at the ages my kids are now. It helps alot. Especially with Nichole. Because I've changed so much over the past 25 yrs that I'd almost forgotten how absolutely terrified I'd once been of growing up, becoming independent, and taking on adult responsiblities.

    It lets me do alot of smiling and nodding instead of nagging and grumbling. Now I know why my grandmother did that so much. lmao
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Suz, you are not kidding! They really are not done cooking yet.

    It stinks that youth is wasted on the young. By the time we have stuff pretty much figured out, we are too old to enjoy it...
  5. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    That was beautiful, Suz.

    I was reading something last night about each of us ~ whether we are someone's child or someone's mother or father ~ having our own destiny to fulfill, our own, ongoing, spiritual tasks to perform and challenges to meet.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Suz you are so right on.

    If I had been locked into a box of what I was going to be at age 18 to 21 then I would have been worse than most of the kids we talk about on this forum. I like to think I have mellowed with age. I made some really horrible decisions back then but I have changed. I hope I am not done changing.

    I dont think we ever get to the point we stop worrying about our kids...and then just when we get the kids grown and they are out in the world and its a different kind of worry, we start worrying about our parents, and the kids start worrying about us too...lmao!
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I wish I knew 1/2 of what I thought I knew when I was 20 -

    I'd be a freaking genius today.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Thanks, gang.

    The reason I brought up this subject is because I've been reading such frustration and despair in the posts lately....like their kids and their lives will never change......or it can't change.

    And it's not true.

    I remember those days. I couldn't imagine having a civil conversation with Rob because we went years without having one. I couldn't imagine a relationship where he hugged me instead of looming over me in a threatening fashion. Judi, I think of you when I remember those times with Rob since you are going through that terrible distance now.

    But they change and we change and surprisingly wonderful things can happen. :faint:

    True story:

    I wanted to quit college. I was miserable there. I wanted to be FREE and to work. My parents were horrified (sheesh). Then "The Graduate" came out. I insisted that my parents go to see it with me. Remember the scene where Benjamin is at the bottom of the pool in his scuba gear in order to escape all of the adults? And "Plastics"?

    When we left the theater at the end of the movie my Mom said very quietly, "I'd forgotten what it was like to be 19. I'm sorry."

    The next day they said they would support my decision. It changed our relationship for the better in that instant.

    So we never know what we will say that will change the relationship. Or what life experience will impact their life. What a mystery this all is.

    Hang in there.

  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think this is true. And difficult children seem to moooovvvvveeee very slowly on top of it. Even with-o the "gfgness" thrown into the mix, I don't expect the same things from a 13 year as from an 18 year as from a 22 year old. There are lags when a young person is a difficult child and I'm trying to take that into consideration. It might be that the most important things are to see sincere effort and at least some (baby steps are fine) movement toward growth.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Suz, I was so tired when I read this thread last night, but in my head I was saying, "Yes! It's so true!"

    Despite all the BS with difficult child lately and our reactions to it, I have to pat myself a little bit here in having the strength to sit back once in a while and remember what I was like at her age.

    At 18, whew, it was nuts. I was doing things and hanging out with people that I would never want to admit to either of my girls! BUT, the only difference is that I always worked. And I think that if difficult child at least worked and had her own money, about half my frustrations would go out the window. In fact, I do believe that since I was working full time at almost 19, my parents felt very comfortable moving 3000 miles away (I wonder why they felt the need to get so far away from thier 5 adult kids! LOL).

    Every so often, either H, exh or I will simply state, "Well, she is only 18". And difficult child is in many ways an immature 18 year old. She is just so mature in what she wants but immature in how to get there. We have to remind ourselves, especially me, that I was already 18.5 when I graduated HS. difficult child was 17.5...all her classmates were at least 6 months-1 year older than her and at that age, it does make a difference.

    Like I said though, believe it or not, I can cut her a very little bit of slack for hanging out with some losers, smoking pot occasionally, and for attending the occasional kegger, but I can't cut her slack for being lazy and disrespectful.

    One time my mother was yelling at me and I was about to say the "F-U" phrase and as the 'F' sound rested on my lips, out of nowhere, my dad appeared and pinned me to the wall with his fist in the air and said, "Don't you dare". I think I had to change my panties that day. My dad spanked me twice in my whole life. And he almost never became involved in arguments between my sisters and me with my mom - but there was a line you just didn't cross and these days, well, it's just doesn't seem to be the same.

    So, yeah, we take into consideration her age and maturity level most of the time, in most of the cases. It's good to be reminded!:whiteflag:
  11. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    So right.

    I have to remind myself that Daughter is only 16 turning 17 in August. I also have to remember she is not me. She also doesn't have the same life experiences I had when I was her age, and I didn't have hers.

    I think of myself at her age. The major difference is that I worked and made my own money. Plus, I lived with a raging alcoholic father. I provided daughter with the stability that I so desperately craved at her age. I got my driver's license on my 16th birthday and never had to be pushed to get things done. Daughter can be so lazy. I also didn't threaten to stab my Mother.

    Yet I was very disrespectful to my Mother, the darling little easy child :rolleyes:that I was, and said some very hurtful things to her. Once even insulting her right in front of family we hadn't seen in years, when I was 19. Very unkind things that would hurt a Mommy's heart.

    I have to admit, overall, Daughter is a good kid. She stays out of trouble and would never dream of using the F word at me. A definite a line in my world. Still, some of her antics...ugh!! My heart still pounds, and I am filled with dread, when I get a phone call at work from her.

    I know that, officially, I don't qualify for this forum, but I seem to be drawn to it, and find encouragement in coming here.
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Suz, you are so right about our kids evolving with age. Funny thing is it doesn't seem so difficult to remember that with difficult child as it is with easy child. I am much less tolerant of his weaknesses or tripping over obstacles. I work hard on biting my tongue and realizing all the good stuff but it's more effort. With difficult child I have pretty low expectations so when he hits one, I'm ecstatic.

    I was no "day at the beach" to my mom between 10 and 12. Very mouthy and disrespectful. I was definitely a easy child with an attitude. Fortunately, I figured out how to navigate the world early and it made me a lot more forgiving and tolerant.
    I really grew up between 20 and 25. Of course, we all keep evolving with every age if we want to do so. I think of them as chapters in my life. I move on after that chapter is finished.

    Hopefully our kids will too.
  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Suz? Are you only 30? ;)

    So true, though. I've talked about my difficult child brother before who didn't get his act together until his 40's. Now he puts us all to shame.

  14. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Suz, your post reminded me of something I think I posted a year or so ago. This was about a discussion we had with our son's therapist when he was in the group home and acting like an obnoxious brat at least some of the time.

    He emphasized that, despite the fact that our son had been using drugs and had been involved in a crime that resulted in placement, and despite the fact that he wasn't buying into a lot of the therapy offered, we should in no way assume that his future was dim based on any of that.

    He then went on to tell us about a recently-completed ten-year study regarding resilience in children and adolescents in which it was found that "at-risk" kids, as long as they had had no more than four major bouts with adversity in their lives (abuse, trauma, divorce, etc.), still had an extremely good chance of going on to become productive, law-abiding adults, but usually not until their 20's or even early and late 30's, and that the MAJOR factor contributing to this positive outcome was having at least one loving, supporting parent.

    As we all know here that we have been that and much more to our kids, I think this is a VERY hopeful message. I always try to keep in mind that my son, even at almost 19 years old, is a work in progress.
  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow........thanks CAmom. That is inspiring & hopeful.

    I also try and consciously subtract about 4 years from my difficult children real age whenever I think of him as it relates to expectations. Although his IQ is high, his emotional IQ is low.........and I cannot expect him to be living up to a normal 17 year olds protocol. I think this is true for all difficult children. Their frontal lobe just does not develop as rapidly as others. The connections and synapses take longer to forge. We have to weigh all of this when we are setting up our vision of how their life is to look. Patience.

    As my sig says..........a mother's hope never dies.