The hardest part of being a parent is losing control. Sure, when our children are little things are easy. They might misbehave, but since you control the environment, they can’t get into to much mischief. Mothers of toddlers sport eagle eyes…ready to pounce on anything that could possible harm our children.
Then the kids get older and leave the nest. Off to school they go where they are influenced by teachers and friends. We trust that the school will protect them from any great harm while they are there. We know that it isn’t always possible, because some terrible things can happen at school. Still, they return home after school where we can continue keeping the eagle eye on our elementary school age children. Again, we control their environment as much as possible.
Inevitably there comes the day when we can no longer control anything about them. We try as hard as we can. But we always will fail because it just isn’t possible. A big change comes as we shift from being completely in control to being completely out of control, and we realize how frightening the world is to human beings.
Danger lurks around every corner. Nothing is safe. We become all to aware that we really aren’t–and probably never were!–in control at all. No one controls everything. It is an illusion that has kept us sane for the previous decade plus. Without this illusion we would have given up years before. Nothing would have been accomplished if we had convinced everyone in our families to crawl into bed and hide beneath the covers.
So we are forced to stand on the sidelines and watch our children stumble. Sometimes they fall. Sometimes they soar. Sometimes we aren’t sure where they are headed. But we have no control over their trip, their fall, their soar. None at all.
It’s a frightening time when a parent realizes that It Is What It Is is the best that can be taken from everything…anything…that happens. We can only live with the feeling of impending doom for so long before we have to let it go to hope and pray for the best.
A child’s mistake or a child’s success is their’s. Trying to take responsibility for it–good or bad!–is a reflection of our own egos. When we start staging things for our egos we are in trouble.
With this stage in parenthood comes an understanding that things just are. It is what it is. We can label things “good.” We can label things “bad.” But they really…just…are. People might judge us, but they don’t walk in our shoes. We might judge ourselves, but it is kinder to understand that we only meant the best. Recognizing our delusions for what they really are–attempts to control the uncontrollable.
There are to many variables in parenting. Too many personalities, localities, destinies, realities…
It Is What It Is…