It’s funny how time works. Days go by without you realising, and suddenly it’s nearly five years since we moved here. Nearly ten years since we got married, and we’ve spent nearly half of that time in the Netherlands. The children have both now spent far more of their life here than in the UK.
They’re also approaching an age which I can remember being. Somehow that overlap between what they’re doing now with the child that I used to be is more un-nerving than I anticipated. I wrote about it previously, and I think this time is more so. If only because I know the feeling is just going to get stronger as they get older and into an age which I can remember better.
I don’t remember much specifically from their age, just a handful of moments. So I sit at night wondering what they will remember. What will be the things from their childhood that they’ll look back on when they’re old. Will they remember a childhood full of happiness and laughter, or one full of upsets and arguments? Realistically, like everyone, it will probably be somewhere in the middle. But I still worry. Isn’t that meant to be the sign that you’re a good parent?!? But that doesn’t make it any easier.
I look at the children at school and see how they’ve changed since I first met them. And I wonder what they will be like by the time they finish at this school. What they will be like as adults. I wonder who will be the person my children first kiss, and if I will ever know.
I feel like I an surrounded by questions with unknowable answers. At least unknowable before they happen anyway. So I am practising my zen mindset and trying to let all of them flow through me without disturbing me too much. Some days that works better than others. But that’s all any of us can ever be – a work on progress!
“They’re also approaching an age which I can remember being. Somehow that overlap between what they’re doing now with the child that I used to be is more un-nerving than I anticipated.”
I think this is a wonderful gift for your kids, Clarissa, that you can remember being their age (and I predict will be even more important in their teen years). My mother never gave any indication she could recall ever having the feelings of a child or an adolescent. She took me to a therapist at age 13 because she was upset that I liked to go into my room and close the door–she found that totally typical teen behavior odd and disturbing. It was like she came from Mars. I could never tell her anything. Your kids are lucky.
Thanks, though I’m not sure it always helps when I’m dealing with them!