January 17, 2011

pieces of me

"When you have kids...there's something you should know. Very confusing thing they don't tell you. You see so much of yourself in them. You see your ironic take on the world, you see your smile, your walk, your sense of humor, whatever...and you think they're you.

But they're not you. And they shouldn't have all of your baggage, your fear, and your insecurity, and your life experience because that's not fair. They have their own.

Your song is beautiful. It's haunting and moving and it's so you.

...I'm so proud and I'm so impressed and I am so in awe of you."

-mom to daughter, Parenthood

My oldest child is almost ten years old. Yes, I'm shocked.

If I've learned anything about parenting, it's that it gets easier on the mind and harder on the heart. You [kinda] get more sleep, they don't need you as much for the little stuff, they can microwave their own popcorn and make their own sandwiches.

But as they stretch out those legs that won't stop growing, you don't love them any less. You love more. And faster. And you are aware and confused at how un-even it all is. When an act of love is letting go and all you want to do is to hold them tighter.
 

34 comments:

  1. It's so funny - two of my children are clear mirrors of myself. But one of them is SO my husband. (I get a huge kick out of that, probably too much of one.) And the jury is still out on the baby...

    so true, so true

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  2. I find this more and more with my girls the older they get. There is always this balance going on of letting them grow and not holding them back.

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  3. my stepson is 18 now (so hard to believe he's that old) and I'm having such a hard time letting go. Enjoy the 10 yr old...they are still so sweet at that age, enjoy hugging and not too embarrassed by parents.

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  4. Mine are all very little still, and I sometimes wonder what it will be like when we emerge onto that plain where they can pop their own popcorn, make their own sandwiches.

    "... you are aware and confused at how un-even it all is." -This is one of the clearest lessons I've learned so far, even if mine are tiny yet. This was so poignant, Stephanie. Love it.

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  5. ugh parenthood is THE BEST show on television! that line really got me too. even though my kid is only 2, we are about to have another and it only makes me see all the growing up he's done even more. and makes me love him harder.

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  6. oh.my.goodness, girl!
    when i saw this episode I
    1. cried and 2. wanted to write something about it.
    it was beautiful.
    thanks for putting it to words.
    you do it so well.

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  7. this made me cry?! I'm sharing on FB. Thanks Steph :)

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  8. This time is just a brief respite to lull you into complacency until the teen age years that seem to last indefinitely. Sometimes it is more painful than childbirth. They need to become independent of us but it isn't easy. You have to trust in the parenting you've done since their birth to guide them. So enjoy this lull and squeeze in all the guiding for good decision making that you can.

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  9. Okay, I have to watch this show! Your post made me tear up.

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  10. "easier on the mind and harder on the heart" - what a perfect description!

    (and I love Parenthood, too)

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  11. I loved that episode and I was crying during that scene. So awesome.

    I want my kids to be themselves all the time. But I want to protect them from doing it because I don't want them to experience the same heartbreak I did.

    So, so hard.

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  12. That scene was one of my most favorites. SO good.

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  13. I love coming here and seeing my own experiences reflected back at me.

    xo

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  14. I love love LOVE that show!!! And it's so true...Owen is a little mirror image of me right now and it's been eye opening seeing ME from that perspective.

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  15. As I was reading this I thought "gee, that sounds awfully familiar...I think I wrote that down somewhere" lol. And sure enough I had written it down after watching that episode last week. It totally summarizes one of my biggest challenges as a mother. LOVE that show!

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  16. yep.
    The letting go is so much harding than the holding tight. Even though that part where they are holding on all the time seems like it will last forever...here I am with a 16 year old.

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  17. I always find it so amazing to look at my three. Baby girl is just like me and yet her personality is so starkly different. it is fun to watch. It is also so hard to let them grow and make their own mistakes and become their own people away from me.

    And I love Parenthood too. :)

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  18. I know exactly what you mean. God Bless!

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  19. AH! I love that show. I totally got goosebumps when I heard those lines too.

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  20. oh, perfectly said. i just love this post, it could not be more true!

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  21. I like that show. Except they talk too fast and interrupt ALL THE TIME and it's a bit annoying. I want to slap them all and say LISTEN TO EACH OTHER! GAWD!

    But it was a great speech, anyway.

    My baby turns 12 in a month. I'm in shock, too. :(

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  22. i can't even imagine how much the heart grows bigger! ugh, i'm soo looking forward to my baby's growth, but also missing him already!

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  23. I LOVED that part of Parenthood. Such a great show. :)

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  24. My mom and I watched that episode of Parenthood together while I was down taking care of her last week. We looked at each other after she said it and just said, "Wow." I've loved Lauren Graham since the Gilmore Girls and she did a beautiful job with those beautiful words. How can you have a ten year old? I totally get the loving fast thing! xo

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  25. yeah my oldest turned 10 today! please slow time...

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  26. I just watched this DVR'd episode tonight, and saved it, just so I could go back and listen to and write down these words again. SO meaningful, and something I want to remember as my kids are growing into their own little people. Thanks for posting this! You took the words right out of my mouth.

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  27. That bit from Parenthood really resonated with me, too. It's so spot on. I still only have a toddler, but I see glimpses of who she really is, her true self that is not me and is not my husband. It's an amazing priviledge to watch a person grow and become from the very beginning.

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  28. My oldest turns 6 today. How did that happen? And when did he get so tall?

    He was sick this past week and between his length and my baby belly, it wasn't easy...but there was no way I was going to say no when he asked if he could cuddle in my lap.

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  29. Your last line is a major heart-tugger. And it's all SO true. I'm glad we can all share this parenting "gig" together...

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  30. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite parenting saying...

    "The rules for parents are but three... love, limit[s], and let them be." Elaine M. Ward

    Oh, the "let them be" part kills me but so true! They come *through* us not from us. It's such a divine mystery to see them unfold into their own glorious creation.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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  31. I cried during that scene on Parenthood.

    And yes, yes yes yes-yes. To this post.

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  32. I'm so very knee-deep in the un-evenness of it all right this very moment. My oldest is 16. And she's so right there on the edge. I have to say goodbye and hold my breath when she gets into the car with one of her driving friends, or worse yet, a boy.

    Back in the day I thought it'd be so simple if only they could wipe themselves and lather their own shampoo. But now I'm hanging on this cliff and wondering how I'll ever close my eyes at night when she's off at college and I can't be sure she's tucked safely into bed...that she made it home from that poetry reading or frat party or coffee date or whatever.

    No answers.

    I'm sorry for writing a book in the comments. :-/ All this to say, I so feel this one.

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  33. I'm right there with you. My oldest is ten and I love it and hate it at the same time.

    And I love that show, and that scene made me teary :)

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