Sunday, 16 September 2012

Road Work

A few weeks ago, we went on a road trip to Bundaberg. On the way I was amazed at how much road work was happening. I said to Gavin, "I wonder if these roads will ever be finished. They probably get to the end and then start over again."

That reminded me of parenting. At least, parenting for me. I know we never FINISH being a parent. We will always want to guide, help, protect our children. That will never change. 

But in my case, I am coming to the end point of a particular part of the road with my Awesome Teenager. He is almost seventeen and will be finishing school in just over a year. He has plans. This kid has serious talent. I always knew he was good at drama, was a goofball and could make people laugh. But recently I have realised, he is a very, very good actor. His aspirations for a career as an actor or a drama teacher are his for the taking. And perhaps that road will take him far away from me. He is almost not 'mine' anymore. I must release him out onto the road. Alone.

Then, I have my little boys. They are just beginning. When THEY are almost seventeen and thinking about what they want to do with their lives, I will be fifty five years old.  I am not sure how to feel about that. I thought I was done at being a mother. I thought my Awesome Teenager would be an only child forever. 

But the universe had other, glorious ideas for me. It tore me down to bare dirt and then it showed me the road out, past the road blocks, past the car wrecks. I was given a second chance. My awesome teenager (who was then an awesome eleven year old) and I stood on the side of the road, stuck out our thumbs and when my Lovely Husband stopped and said, "Jump In!" I said, "Where have you been all my life?" He said, "Sorry, it took me a long time to get here. I came from far, far away. The roads were rough and hard for me too. But I draw Maps... so I will never lose you. "

The universe is cool.

Like that roadwork crew, I got (almost) to the end and then I went  back to the beginning and started over. Sometimes I struggle with having been a very young mother, and now being an older mother. Where is my time in all of this? When do I get my time? Where is my special turnoff on the road. The one that leads to me? Where is my reward for all the frickin' roadwork?

But you know what? It's ALL my time. It's all OUR time. Me and my Lovely husband and my three sons. (I am in serious danger of taking this 'road' metaphor tooo far, but Whatevs.) We are all on this road together. And it is never finished. We are making it as we go.


  1. That's a great analogy Tessie. I was a Mum for the first time at 40 and then 42. I did have a life before the kids and I'd been asking myself when was I getting that back. I've recently just resigned myself to the fact that this IS my life, with 2 kids in it and its a wonderful life. How much more rewarding, fulfilling, bumpy (as in road) could I want? Great post.

    Anne xx

    1. thanks Anne. It's interesting when you have to reassess what you expected and what you get. Often times, i reckon yo get exactly what you need!

  2. I love hearing the story of your travels, Gil. Your sons are lucky to have such an amazing mum!

  3. I love the analogies that you use in this post and what you said is so very very true. We are never finished being a parent - sometimes it turns out that we go from being the child to being the parents for our parents who become like our children !
    I was just thinking the other day that I am going to have to let my 20yo go soon - she isn't going to want to stay around forever and I just hope that we have prepared her well enough to tackle the big bad world that is out there and the knowledge that we are always here if she needs us.
    Have a great week !

    1. Thanks Linda. Its scary when you can actually see the point in the distance when they are no longer going to be in your home/ under your wing. I am in a little bit of denial about it I think!!

  4. Such a way with words... Love it, you & this way cool universe!! Thanks for the thought provoking.. Xx a

  5. Can't believe son no 1 is almost 17 (but did realise the talent!) good luck with your life road map. Mine has been full of signs, left and right turns, round-abouts and plenty of road work but I still get there eventually! Love reading your blog x

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