Whenever I hear the expression "growing pains", I always think of it in terms of children. For the past couple months, I've realized that expression affects adults too. With graduation now over, many of us saw our sons and daughters graduate from their respective schools for their various age groups. While we all rejoiced in our children successes, I think we all secretly (some not so secretly) experienced some "growing pains" knowing that it was another chapter closed and our children are moving up and moving on. For me, I can no longer see the cherubic face that greeted me with warm hugs and big smiles. I see this blossoming teen who speaks, acts, and looks, anything but a 'baby'; though she'll always be my baby. I look at my daughter and am still awed that she's mine. I think how I went from not wanting children, to wanting her, and raising her. She's a mother's dream child (most of the time...lol), and I thank God for blessing me with her. I still wonder what I did that was so good to have her; not that I'm complaining though. Who wouldn't want a beautiful, intelligent, articulate, ambitious, friendly, and outgoing child?
It still seems hard to believe that 14 years have passed by. I look back on old photos and say, "wow, I remember this or that." I look at the photos of how she's changed visually and physically, and it confirms how much she's really grown and changed. I still have little notes that she's written me professings he love for me or how special I am and they make me smile and sometimes make me cry. I miss those things! A growing pain that's hard to deal with at times. As parents, we all want to know that we still mean something to our children and that they still think we're cool or special. Teens often forget about us in that way unless they're hurting and need something.
There is no formula any of us can use to get our children to do what we'd like them to do, but that's all a part of the growing process for us all. We weren't given manuals on how to raise them or what they'd turn out to be. All we can do is hope we're giving them the right foundation to live, learn, and grow.
In spite of the "growing pains" that my daughter is growing up, moving on, and will one day leave me, I'm still happy for her. The growing pains I feel are all a part of what makes me a parent. They are the highs and lows of what make life possible and life has way of surprising us when we least expect it. So, I'd rather focus on the blessings my daughter will bring me as she moves on to the next phase of her life. I'll get her through her growing pains, she'll get me through mine, and together we'll embark on another chapter of both our lives.