Saturday, November 8, 2008


Now look at these darling little tykes. A little boy with three little sisters. He's the protector. They are the worshipers. They not only are my darling little kids but they were such good little kids. I gave birth to these four in a five-year span, and I needed them to be good. I hear myself telling people that I never had any trouble with them at all. And people that I've been friends with for years, who lived in the neighborhood where the kids grew up, have often said what a good mother I was.

Wait. I think that must be a dream I had.

No, they were good little kids, easy to discipline when it was necessary, respectful of their school teachers and other adults, and absolutely perfect children to take to a restaurant. But before I tell you the next part of the story, I do need to tell you that they all have ended up perfect adults. By helping them grow up to be independent, I think I maybe made it too easy for them not to feel guilt when they don't call me as often as I would like, but that is not their problem, it is mine for succeeding in what I set out to do.

But as they got to their teen aged years, probably between 15 and 18 years of age, there were many times I would have liked to walk away from the whole child-raising venture. Or in today's vernacular, I'd have liked to throw them in the car and drive them to Nebraska. I'm sure you've all been reading about Nebraska and its law regarding dropping off new-born children at any hospital there, except the way the law is worded, ANY child can be handed over, and parents of teenagers have been coming in droves to place their older children in the care of the hospitals. Far more teens than babies have been brought. Nebraska says it is going to revise the law to cover only babies under the age of three days. They really need to consider that what they are actually seeing now is a far greater need!

Anyway, my son in his teen years could get his priorities more twisted up than his body could get in yoga positions. And he laughed all the way through it. The school did not laugh. I cried.

There was never a time when I had to interface with the police over anything he had done, thank goodness, but at least half of my early grey hairs came from his shenanigans.

A daughter had a hard time finding herself. She tried out all kinds of options, some of which were not too good. She never got into trouble but she experienced life as one thing after another.One time I got a call from her friend's mother who reported that she had caught her daughter and mine smoking and what was I going to do about it? I asked her if she tried smoking when she was a junior high student and she said she had. We agreed to do nothing. But we did keep a closer eye on our kids as they bounced and splashed their way thought the late teen years.
And then the daughter who never gave anyone any problem, the one who smiled her way through her childhood, presented this to me one night when we came home early from some event we were at. Mooned by our own daughter.

The remaining daughter and my son both dropped out of high school in their senior year and went out on their own, in spite of our best tries to keep them home.
I got the rest of my grey hair from this. It is SO hard to raise teenagers. So hard to get through the terror of watching your kids trying their best to fall off the cliff. There are times when it just seems like too much. You try your best, and it doesn't seem good enough.
If you are lucky, and I was, you can watch them come out the other side. You can see their adult lives, watch them become parents and have successful careers. Yes, there are bumpy spots, but I have always known deep inside that my kids were raised with good values and that with any kind of luck they'd leave the teenage rebellion at 18 or thereabouts and come out smiling.
I love my four children. But I have to confess, many's the time I wish I'd known about Nebraska!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I haven't had a lot of time to check on blogs recently, but this was a great one to come back to. :o)

I am sure I have a few friends that would be more than happy to drop their kids off in Nebraska. :o)