Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Book Ended Parenting

I have  2 children. Both boys. The teen is 16 and  the wee one will be 3 in May.  

I had the teen when I was 26. As a single mother, I navigated parenting one developmental step at a time. I read parenting books. I often did not trust my own instincts.  I had come from some pretty fun disfunction as a kid.  I grew up in a way that I had not yet done.  And I learned that I am not a perfect parent. I can be impatient, and short tempered at times. But all in all, I think the teen has turned out to be a grounded, good person.  It is exciting to watch a teenager discover themselves.

And then I met hubby.  We had a baby when I was 39.  This experience also has it challenges.  I am older and ( just a little bit) set in my ways.  I try to remember if I was this tired at the end of the day when I was caring for the teen during his toddler years. I am grateful to have more time to spend with the wee one as a stay at home mom. I am more aware of my weaknesses.  I feel like I am more present.  I am grateful to have two great boys. I also am enjoying watching the teen enjoy his little brother.  Teen is an awesome big brother.

Having two kids with such a disparity of ages provides days where I am bookending parenting.  

Yesterday was one of those days.  

The boys and I drove into "town", about 45 minutes away,  to take the teen to his art class and run a few errands. The teen is getting ready to have some of his art and photography shown at an Artisan Coop.  So we spent most of our drive discussing what he would like to show and what we need to do to get it ready.  Meanwhile, wee one is sleeping in his car seat. On our list of things to do was to find wee one a new pair of shoes.  We stop at a high quality consignment shop where I find a totally cool pair of green sneakers. 

We get everything done and head home.  Wee one is singing the praises of his new sneakers in the backseat of the car.  The teen and I ,somehow, end up having a discussion about the birds and the bees. He is involved in a couple of activities this year where he is spending time with girls.  OUr discussion ended with  how girls like to treated and respected.  Oh yeah, and girls like boys who use deodorant on a regular basis.

We all get home.  The teen goes outside to take care of the animals.  I get busy in the kitchen.  The wee one is bombing around the house when he stops me to ask for a "snuggle".  He still wears his new awesome green sneakers. Hubby gets home, we have dinner.  Wee one gets ready for bed with his Red Fleece PJs and his awesome new sneakers.  Quite the fashion statement! 

These are the best of times...


Anonymous said...

YOu have some very nice looking boys and sounds to me like you're going a great job of raising them.
My mom always said she raised 3 generations.. she had 5 kids but they were so spaced out in years that she felt like she would never see them all grow up. She had my sister and one brother in her early 20's.. another child in her mid 30's then another boy in late 30's.. then I came along when she was 41 years old.

Wendy said...

My kids are 22, 20 (married with a baby ... and living with us right now ;), 11, 8, and 6. I know of what you speak.

When my two oldest were teens and all seven of us were living in the house, we had some interesting times.

English Animist said...

Sounds like a blissful day. You have beautiful boys. I am sure they take a lot of your energy but I am sure it is well worth it.

Kathy said...

They are the best of times! And you are an AWESOME parent ... never forget that. No, we none of us are perfect and I remember one day tell A that she didn't come with an owner's manual and I am a direction reading kind of person. She understood then that I am only human too.

I remember when the two girls were young and I had to bounce between curiosity that ran deep and required thoughtful, thought provoking answers to the completely simple explanation of 'no' when no was exactly the right word. It was tiring trying to keep both my heads on straight.

I wouldn't trade any of that time for any thing. Ever.