Monday, January 6, 2014

If I stop feeding them, will they stop growing up?

As my children grow and become more independent, their time with me decreases.  Just yesterday my son was ridding piggy-back and my daughter snuggled her teddy bears.  Now my boy towers over me like a grown man and my girl is driving a car.

Just one very short year ago I rang in the New Year with my teens by my side.  We taught the younger nieces to slam pots and pans at the stroke of midnight and we passed out on the floor in one big family heap.  This year both teens were at parties and I was just a taxi.

We all know that children grow up and if you’ve done your job as a parent, they grow up to be independent.  But I’m not ready.  Really.  Every day I think of things I’ve forgotten to tell my kids about life, love, happiness and the future. 

Then life turns our conversations to:  “Can I have a ride Mom,”  “I’m going to the mall Mom,”  “What’s for dinner Mom,” and “I’ll see ya tomorrow Mom.”

It’s the end of the day.  I’ve handed out twenties like bubblegum and burned through two tanks of gas, not a wise word spoken.  And the days tick on…

My kids communicate through email, Snap-Chat and Instagram.  But I resist.  I can’t be that mom who talks to her kid through Snap-Chap!  But I also don’t want to be that mom who regrets all of the things she forgot to say.  So I made a plan.

Every time I think of something important to tell my teens, I’ll shoot them an email entitled, “Just in case I forget to tell you…”  I’ll talk about college choices, or how proud I am of them, or that they have a doctor’s appointment at the end of the week.  I won’t make any rules about the content of the emails and I won’t expect a response.  But at least I’ll know I haven’t forgotten. 

I’ll sign my emails with “Just in case I forget to tell you, I love you to the moon and back.”

Some may think it’s pathetic that I’m using email to send messages to my teens.  I might agree.  But I could sit around yearning for the days of old forcing them to watch reruns of the Walton’s while I conjure up meaningful conversation.  Instead I’ve decided to meet them in their own world of iPhones and instant messages.

How do you connect with your kids?
P.S. Can someone email this to my kids… just in case I forget to.

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