Parenthood

It’s not possible to prepare for the probably biggest thing that will ever happen to you, when expecting a child to come to this world. The endless books and articles written on the topic, the many generations before us, none of it has really been able to prepare us for something so scaring, terrifying, traumatising, overwhelming, wonderful and mind blowing, yet, such a natural and biological thing as becoming a parent. Those big eyes in that little body, the smell, the heart warming laugh once my child starts to make noises, its first steps, its first word… all of these moments which means the world to me, and no only me.

Feels like yesterday, when I was seven years old, playing out in the garden of my parents, and now I am all grown up and am your parent.

I am responsible for a life, which I brought to this world. With all the issues, problems, questions and fears I have for my own self, not to even mention all the horrible evil in the world, I am to ensure that you lack nothing in your childhood. I’m always here for you, emotionally, physically, financially… you are to get the best upbringing one can possibly get, much better than the one I got. I have to ensure that you grow strong, healthy, believe that the world is at your feet, that you’re brave for yourself, that you won’t hurt others, and that you learn from your own, as much as from other’s mistakes. You are my world. You are my everything. I love you. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. Even if you were not planned. Even if I had moments where I wished differently for myself… I love you. I adore you. You are my miracle. And you grow up to be a teenager who is embarrassed by me. There will later be moments where you slam the door and scream at me to leave you alone. Despite you running away and making all those mistakes I begged you not to make. I love you, even when you make go mad.

I am your parent. I gave you life. I did my best to make the beginning of your life as amazing as I could. I tried to give you the best childhood I never had. I forgot myself in the mission I created, conscious or not, planned or not, no one told me how difficult it will be. I never wanted you to lack anything. You are my miracle in this world, so innocent, so precious. I gave up my life for yours. My every breath was and is for you.

I hold your hand, and wipe away your tears when your heart breaks for the first time, and the second.. in fact, I will hold your hand every time you need me to. There is no way I can protect you from the madness out there. You are eager to see the world, travel, meet new people, make your own experience, write your own history. At some point in time, I find myself to no longer be a main character in your story, but a bystander, which you occasionally call, to ask for help or support, financially, emotionally… oh, and don’t forget to ask me how I am doing – I raised you to be polite after all. I no longer see you every day, every week or every month even. You grow up, and move out to the big world. Eager and full of hope, to accomplish big things in this world, to make it a better place, for others or just for yourself. My little miracle standing on its own legs and makes a living far, far away from me.

Every once in a blue moon we meet up. Holidays, maybe vacation or sometimes when you miss my homemade food or pass by on a business trip near me. We have coffee, maybe dinner if I’m lucky and you have enough time for me. I miss you every day, all day of every day. I wish time didn’t pass by this quickly. At some point I thought life played a trick on me. It felt like yesterday you were small enough to fit in my arms, and now I am the one getting smaller and tinier by the years. I grow old, yet, you are much too focused on yourself growing up. All the pressure that is being put on your generation. I don’t know how you keep up with it. All the requirements, all the musts, the competition to just make it anywhere these days… it was different back then, “a thousand years ago”, when I was your age. Since you moved out, I’ve tried to pick up the pieces that I once dropped to make your life the best life one could have. Those pieces are a couple of decades old now. They haven’t changed much since then. They are not very useful now though. I feel lost, and I no longer have you,  my little miracle, close to me. You must know how proud I am of you. You’re the best thing in my life. Nothing compares to you. Nothing at all.

I suppose that I’m not replaceable for you either. Nevertheless, you’re too busy with your own life. You grow up, and I grow old. Somewhere along that road, I lost my own parents, so I don’t have that comfort to call, to ask for help or support. I am completely on my own. And you are far away. I cannot hug you, smell your scent, and feel your heart beating. Just like I did when you were small enough to fit into my arms. I lost my own support, and I didn’t realize how fast that passed by, because I was busy creating my own life, writing my own story, where you became my main star of the show. I grew up, and my parents grew old. Probably feeling and thinking very much the same, that I am feeling and thinking right now. Abandoned. Lonely.

I try to not show you how I feel when we meet, and that is already less often than I would like to. All the sadness I feel when you’re gone, I don’t want you to know how much I hurt, because I am so happy when we finally meet, I want to freeze time, hug every moment I get to spend with you, even if you’re constantly checking your phone when we’re together. If I could choose, I’d like you to live just around the corner, not in some metropoly of a city, thousands of miles away, with millions of people who don’t understand how lucky they are to be close to my miracle, to you. They will never understand how precious you are. They will never love you like I love you. You are my heart, my soul, my sunshine and the best decision I ever made.

By the time you realize that I am old, you’ll be torn between work, friends, a partner, yoga classes and maybe you’ve created your own little miracle, and made me a grandparent. That special bond we shared is now secondary, as you focus on giving your child the best beginning of its life. Ensure that your child doesn’t lack anything and get’s the best upbringing one can get, much better than the one you got. I am sorry I was never perfect, I did my best, please believe me, I gave my all for you.

And then comes that day, where I no longer will be around, and at that moment, you might notice how quick the time passed by. Perhaps then you realize that just as I only had you on loan, you had me on loan as well. Whatever disputes we had, different opinions on any topic, none of that really matters any longer. I will be gone, and you will have to be the adult, no longer anyone’s child. Please remember what I taught you, to be strong, to be brave, to have courage and learn from your and other people’s mistakes. Please don’t forget me. I did my best. I know you wanted and wished for more. I could only give you so much. Please keep the memories we created together in your heart. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, and I was always so grateful to be chosen to be your parent. I missed you every day, all day, especially after you moved out from home to make your own life. I tried my best to give you everything I never had, so that you never lacked anything in your life. I know there were moments you were embarrassed about me, moments you were angry at me, for whatever reason, if only for the mere fact that I was your parent. I know there were moments you wished I was gone, a pure pain in your life, and that I would stop talking… but love, you must know that all I wanted was to show you how much I cared for you.

Now I’m gone, and hopefully all that needed to be said, has been said. I hope I taught you everything I could to prepare you for the life that awaits you now. Maybe you’ll understand how I felt once your own child leaves home to write his or her own story of life. You’ll have to stand the pain of becoming a bystander of your own miracle’s life. I realize that there is a time for everything, and every day people are born and people die. I don’t know what happens next, but I hope that I will be able to hold you in my arms one day again. Because I miss you, every day, all day. Even if I’m no longer around to bug you on the phone or in a text message, which you see while being in an important meeting at work and then forget to answer. Even though that business trip requires you to work over Christmas and not come home, again. My heart beats for you, even if you find me to be a nag for asking you to please go to the doctor’s with that aching elbow you hurt while playing tennis the other week. I never realized how important my parents were to me until it was too late. I don’t want you to feel that way. But you will. Because it is not possible to prepare for one of the saddest thing that will ever happen to you, when losing your parent. The endless books and articles written on the topic, the many generations before us, none of it has really been able to prepare us for something so scary, terrifying in fact, traumatising, yet, such a natural thing as losing a parent.

I loved you long before you were born, and I will keep loving you long after I’m gone. Although it feels like yesterday I had you in my arms, that little body with large eyes looking at the world for the first time… The years pass by much faster than… much faster than anyone of us wants.

All my love, your parent

Dear mother, this is how I believe you are feeling and thinking. I don’t know for sure, because you have never spoken about this with me. I want you to know that our special bond is not gone, and this is what I feel that you are carrying with you. I love you, for everything and anything you have done and given me. The sweet memories that we created will not be forgotten. I miss you every day, all day. 

 

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