Transitions: You can get through them
Someone will be going to day care and spending all day away from Mom for the first time.
Someone else will enter “big school” for the first time. An elementary school student will transition to middle school, and a middle school student will take the step to high school.
A high school senior will enter the hallowed halls of higher education.
The other side of that coin is that mothers of little ones will leave their “babies” in someone else’s care – simultaneously a relief and a guilt trip.
Mothers and fathers of middle and high school students will hold their collective breaths to await the outcome of that transition to the next level.
Other parents will, for the first time, do their parenting long-distance as their 18-year-olds leave their nests for colleges and universities in distant cities. That, too, is at the same time a relief and a guilt trip.
Whatever milestone is being experienced, each is a mixture of pride and joy, sorrow and trepidation.
Take it from the voice of experience: You’re gonna make it and so are your kids. They’re made of rubber. We’re not, and that’s the problem.
Remember when you panicked over potty-training? I lived in fear that I would leave my child with irreparable emotional damage by forcing the porcelain throne on my first and only.
Once over the hump, I realized I’d made a mountain out of a molehill. Like I said: They’re made of rubber. They adjust.
I can say that now. Then was another story, and it will be until the end of time. You can’t know these things until you’re looking back at them.
Meanwhile, you’ve got to get through this.
For those of you leaving your “babies” at daycare for the first time, visualize an all-day party. You’re not shirking your duty as a parent. You’re enhancing your child’s social horizons.
If it’s “big school” you’re tackling, keep in mind the friends your kid made at the aforementioned party are going to be your kids’ classmates, aka, the party’s not over.
God help me, I don’t have a word of advice for parents of kids going to middle school and high school. You just have to get through it. And you will. Just don’t make too much of it.
College – or the military – is your reward. Out of sight, out of mind.
Some years ago I noted that the reason God made 18-year-olds was to send them to college or the military. You don’t want to wave goodbye to your 4- year-old. Your 18-year-old? That’s a different story. Just ask any parent of a senior in high school. (And seniors, it doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We do. We just don’t want to live with you. Don’t go sulking. You don’t want to live with us, either.)
Life is not a fairytale, and things don’t always work out the way you think, hope or dream they should, even with the “best” of people, however you define that.
Few of us measure up to June Cleaver (seniors, ask your parents – or grandparents -- who she is), Eddie Haskell’s mother among them (same thing, seniors), so don’t put that pressure on yourself (or that shirt-waist dress and apron).
The changing of the seasons from summer to fall is a signal of the end of one era and the beginning of another. Look back with fondness – or relief – and look ahead with hope and anticipation.
The best is yet to come.
At least, that’s what they tell me.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at southjetty@centurytel. net, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas. TX 78373.