Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I spent the day with the kiddos and had breakfast with them and my mom. It was nice. The girls made me cards; the boys gave me hugs.
This week I am going to experience full-time motherhood for the first time. M is staying with us for the next week, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. He’s 14 and fairly self-sufficient, but I am concerned that myself or Mark will encounter a situation we do not usually deal with and as a result may make some kind of parenting faux pas. I know logically that there is no one handbook for parenting and that I have 20 years of child care experience to lean on. I am, despite not having any kids of my own, more prepared to raise a child than my husband who has four of them. This however does not comfort me, because when they’re your own it’s different. M isn’t some kid at a school or daycare that I care for from the hours of nine to five. He’s my little buddy, the boy that I admire more and more as I watch him grow into an amazing young man. When I’m working I can make decisions easily. I can tell a parent about their child’s day and then walk away. This time around I will be the one that can’t walk away, the one that takes that kid home with them, and those decisions become more difficult. Part of me says it will be easy and I have nothing to worry about. He’s a teenager not a toddler, and giving him some freedom to walk home from school or up to the store is natural. Still, I sit here fearing the worst because for once I am on the other side of the coin. What if something happens at school? Or on the walk home? Or at any time in the next week? Mark has been nervous for weeks and I keep telling him to relax, relying on my past to provide all the knowledge and preparation I need. Now the moment is here, he’s coming tonight, and I am freaking out a tad. What if I’m not attentive enough? What if there’s a problem at school? What if he gets lost or hurt on the way home? All these thoughts are seeping into my brain and I don’t care for it. I sit here and tell myself that I am great at kids, because I am. I don’t brag about much but I’ll brag about that. I’m the kid-whisperer and always have been, but do these talents still work on teenagers? Do they work on the kids that come home to you at the end of the day?
M is very much looking forward to his visit. In fact, he wanted to come a day early. I am excited, too, but I have these little worries that gnaw at my brain. It reminds me of yet another reason I’m not planning to have children: the constant worry. I am already constantly worried; I don’t need some kiddo adding to it. Yet here we are.
I love this kid and am so glad he gets to spends some time with us. I am hoping that this week is fun and productive for everybody. In fact, I’m sure it will be. Mark is ecstatic about having his eldest around, despite his worries. I need to tap into that, because I remain a nervous wreck, terrified that I will mess up somehow. I don’t feel this way when the kids are here on the weekends, which is interesting as there are many of them and they are far more likely to riot. One kid should be no problem, right?
This is what I’m telling myself, at least.