So 2012 leaves us without our worlds ending. This is a good thing. For me, as a parent, I look back on the year and as a parent I can’t help but point out the things within me as a person that I would like to improve upon. Parenting is not easy. It is one of the most torturous blessings that any person could ever imagine. You scrutinize every decision you make and every action you make. So it is to be a parent. For the upcoming year, not so much a resolution for the new year, but more within the confines of what I am capable of as a person, there are things that I would like to improve upon as I enter another year of the cursed blessing that is parenthood.
My children are growing older. So am I. I lucked into becoming a parent at a relatively young age. As they have grown and developed into the amazing people that they will one day become I have grown and matured into the old man that I am rapidly becoming. 26 is not old, some of you may say. MY 26 feels very old I would retort. Growing into the aging adult that I am, I want and understand that I need to listen to what my children are saying more and more. As they continue to grow I find they are saying more and comprehending more than I would have ever realized possible. They are developing into a position to be able to tell me what they are feeling as they attempt to find logic in the world as they see it. As a parent I want to be able to listen more to what they say so I can better help them come to terms with the way the world operates around them, as well as outside of them.
As my oldest daughter enters the seventh year of her life I am amazed at the progress she has made. My Monster, as I call her, has become quite the intelligent young lady. Just today she has wrote her first script for film, much like her daddy did when he was younger, and has agonized over how it should be filmed. This is impressive to me and at times I have to take a step back in awe at the little person that she is becoming. Her film was about ‘feelings’. My first script was about zombies. Already at seven I feel as if my little lady has surpassed her father and it makes me proud. Early on in her youth there were many turbulent times that I wish I could have saved her from. Life being what it is prevented this and together we have come through them together stronger and more prepared for our futures. This year rather than constantly and feverishly hammering rules and boundaries into her I plan to take a step back and allow her an opportunity to grow. I believe I have laid a foundation for which a person can be molded. Now, as she comes of age, I believe it is time to allow her the freedom to become the person that she will one day be. With a touch of nurturing and instruction as it is needed of course. Being a parent is knowing when to relinquish control and knowing when enforcement is needed. This year is a year that I understand my lady will continue to develop without my constant barrage of instruction. Being a parent means relinquishing control. This will be hardest for me, but I have faith in my Monster to grow and become an amazing person without her daddy constantly interjecting. Relinquishing the shield of protection, no matter how vague, is going to be a challenge for me. I fear for the development of my lady.
My ladies are coming of age. This is hard to grasp for me at times because I still remember them in diapers. I remember the childlike way they spoke and it saddens me to see how they have come to an age where they have begun to lose it. I remember ketchup being ‘chetchup’. I remember I love you, being ‘I love chew’. My ladies are getting older and as much as it pains me they are growing out of their childish stages into their early adolescents. It makes me proud and it makes me feel sad beyond belief. They will never again be as they were then. What we experienced together as they grew was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I like to think not a single day was squandered. We continue to age as we continue to get older. As we do so we continue to learn from one another. I love my ladies with a passion so fierce it hurts. I am tormented daily about events that I have no control over whatsoever and about days that have yet to come. I worry about their future. I worry about who they will become. I want them to be so much better than their daddy and so far at seven and five I cannot begin to explain the joy I feel when I find that they already are. They are getting older and so am I. They are losing their baby speech, as well as their teeth, as they enter a different stage in their lives. So do I. I could not explain the joy I feel when that baby speech still enters their vernaculars though. They may becoming little lovely ladies, but still at random moments they are still my babies. At this moment in time a scratch is still referred to as a ‘scarf’. Little joys make being a parent so rewarding. This year it is my biggest hope that I find the ability to let go an inkling of my worry and enjoy them while they are this age as we each continue to learn from one another.