I have been parenting longer than anyone should have to. In 1988 my first kid hit middle school. He was in the “gifted” class and that meant all kinds of craziness was accepted. I was young and could handle it. It is now 2011 and I am still dealing with a middle school age child and it is not fun. I’ve done two others in between – a boy and a girl – and quite truthfully I am tired of school. Tonight I am listening to a long list of my 13 year old son’s issues.
“The teacher doesn’t like me”, ( Eight times now I’ve told him to get a new piece of paper and get to work.) “This is all stupid”. (He’s been dragging this on for hours). For two days in a row I’ve had calls from his social studies teacher saying that he is way behind all the other students with this project. He is grounded and can’t play video games or go to the lake with his friends. It doesn’t seem to light a fire under him.
I can’t even begin to explain all that has been going on, but I am tired. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would be doing this in my mid- fifties! Oh, I did picture time for myself and going out to eat and traveling in my mid-life years. I pictured myself doing adult stuff, watching adult shows and hanging out with other adults, not making cookies for the end of year school parties (for the 100th time it seems) and dealing with teacher conferences. As I write this my son is flipping his pencil around with his leg up on the chair (he can’t seem to write with his butt in a chair) and mumbling about some reason that his teacher hates him – once again. Anything to waste time. He could have had these pages written hours ago. Now he is drawing on a penny, next he will HAVE to pat the cat, and on it goes.
I’ll do what I usually do, tell him to finish and leave it on the table for me to view in the morning, and go to bed. It is exhausting.
I have long believed that every couple should start out with a teenager. No baby, just a teenager. It would be great birth control.
I don’t know how I will survive the next five years of school with homework and drivers ed! I know what is coming and I am dreading it more than ever. My other three kids are grown and they turned out to be great kids. My child rearing was suppose to stop there, but nothing in my life seems to go as I plan and when I ended up pregnant at 40 the one thing that depressed me most was thinking about all the years of school I would have to do again. That nightmare is here.
Well, we do what we have to do and if we are lucky we have help. I have no help.
Skip Ahead to 2021
Yes, time has flown by and now my 7th grader is a grown man. He lives with his girlfriend and is a kind and caring young man. As I have re-read this post I realize I’ve forgotten the tough times, thankfully. My son has turned out well and I am still relatively sane.
I’m still alone, and no one will ever give me credit for all the years I nearly lost my mind raising kids by myself, but the job is finished. My own peace in knowing that I did my best and my kids are okay to go on into adulthood well-equipped is thanks enough, I guess.
Life goes by pretty fast. My kids will be fine without me, and I can go on to wherever we go next knowing that.