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Parenting: It Ain’t for Sissies, Vol. MXIV

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The thing about parenting is that you think it’s super hard when they’re tiny – and it is! It’s physically exhausting. But something happens as the kids age and it’s no longer the physicality of parenting; it becomes more emotionally difficult.

 

I mean, you know, GREAT. Right? JUST. GREAT. Just when you’ve gotten that small child to sleep through the night or wipe their own hind end, they go and change things up on you.

 

I’ve known this for a few years, but as I straddle parenting a 9 year old and a toddler, I’m acutely aware of the difference. The 9 year old no longer screams and throws tantrums (ahem), but then again, the toddler isn’t exactly talking back and getting in trouble for doing dumb stuff with friends.

 

The thing about third graders that I’m learning is that it’s this nebulous place in between childhood and adolescence. There’s this shifting from love of toys to other interests. The trying on of different identities like changing clothes. I feel a certain loss of early childhood innocence happening before my eyes and it makes me all weepy and nostalgic for past years when, frankly, the child was just a hair bit sweeter and a whole lot less stinky.

 

This was evident over Christmas break in more than one way. There were a few discipline issues that were somewhat … eye-opening to both S and I, as well as a reminder that in many ways I can’t help but wonder if the hardest things are yet to come. The stakes certainly get higher, right?

 

And then? As if it wasn’t enough, all this growing up and about, he asked if Santa Claus is really for real.

 

GEEZ, 2016?! Srsly? Cut a mom a break!

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Nonetheless, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I become all the more aware of the importance of my role to provide a safe place for feelings and fears, thoughts and concerns. Ideas and exploration.

But really. Could we not have hung on to Santa for just a tad bit longer? What next, the Easter bunny?

 

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