Friday, 29 July 2011

Before They Fly The Nest....

Thoughts of a Mother when she spies her chicks testing their wings.

Has anyone ever noticed how easy it is to blog with small children in your ether? How the tiny, busy hands just beg to be photographed? The little tousled heads bent over a treasure, a wondrous find? Oh, the ease, and the countless magic moments that present themselves each day if we pause and look up for a minute.
It has been on my mind lately how the years are racing by, just a breeze glancing past my ear at times, and suddenly our small ones are not small but big, and we have two teens in the house who, because there are still two more small ones here, often escape my camera and I seldom blog about them any more.


For what do they do but sleep and lounge and eat, with no interests other than friends and music, no concept of a world outside their own, and a social life I am rarely privy to? Oh we are in the midst of someone else's Age Of Unreason. Remember that? Not the unreasonableness of a toddler. That is sweetly endearing. Most of the time.
No, this is the teen version.
I have no doubt many of you reading this are fantastically familiar with this?


And while it is the most natural, gradually evolving process, so subtle for the most part you barely notice it creep into your household, still, one day you find it is there, has swelled to fill hidden corners you never saw, is now like a presence right there with you, these people whose passage out of the green scented bowers of childhood is fast approaching, who are no longer completely immersed, but are treading water, heads glistening, excited faces turned towards the sun, about to strike out for shore, so sure of their way.


And while there are times we disagree with their methods and means, can see how difficult they make it for themselves, still, we have to stand back and let them figure it out, (with the occasional firm guiding hand when inexperience is a danger!) for let's face it, they have yet to realise that their previously held, and now somewhat doubted, belief that we, their parents,  know everything, may not be that simple and straightforward, but is nonetheless still kind of true. 


And do you know what? So far, I have been nothing but heartened. Heartened and reassured. By their choice of friends, and the way they are with one another, by the tales that have come back to me via other parents of their thoughtfulness and, at times, their courage to stand up for their friends, to stick to their principals and say 'Now hang on just a minute!' 
So I am happy to stand back, to let them test their boundaries, test their wings, but in doing so provide a place they can come back to, a place they want to bring their friends, and that their friends want to came to.
For I am not yet ready to let them go.
Not just yet.

12 comments:

Stephanie V said...

My teenagers have long grown up and flown into the world. And I, too, am constantly heartened at the goodness and caring - and all with good humor - of the young people I meet.

Dorit said...

Well said. With a 15 yo and a very-soon-to-be 13 yo I am in the beginning of this process.

A mermaid in the attic said...

I have a few years before mine reach their teenage years (though they will flash by so fast), and I too hope that, if nothing else, I can create a home for them that they are happy not only to be in themselves, but to bring their friends home to as well. Lovely post!

In Real Life said...

Gorgeous! :) My daughter is 11, we are just approaching teenage-hood. So far so good!

Martin H. said...

Bitter-sweet days, Ciara, but children who know the love and pride of devoted parents (as yours do) have a wonderful start to adulthood.

gz said...

It is heartening to get feedback and realise that you did ok, despite fearing one's inadequacies

Sadhbh said...

I'm not surprised they want to bring their friends to your home and that their friends want to come. Your home is so warm and welcoming and you create that atmosphere. Nor am I surprised at their positive choices in life. With such cool, creative, open-minded parents - how could these children go wrong?

Mom said...

The children are so very present in our lives. They fill up our world. It is such a surprise when you blink one day and they are grown and gone. Now my grandbabies are almost grown and gone. But no, they are never gone. They live in my heart where I carry them each day.

Rima said...

Such a lovely post Ciara - hope you are all well and happy this summer.
You need not fear for your young'uns I think - they've learnt wisdom from your good-earthed home and heart. They are lucky :)
I send much love from Dartmoor x

O'Daly John said...

Well say Ciara !!

Kerry O'Gorman said...

As I watch my nieces and nephews grow up, I too am struck by the learning process. How did we ever manage to survive as these alien teenagers?! Still, standing back and allowing them the same experiments with life as we had, while hopefully giving them a bit of guidance, is all we can do...stay sane...

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Oh how I remember, memories surfaced as I read your lovely writing....how wistful it makes me. Time passing, each milestone reached, and how each time I used to wish I could freeze-frame it all!

I so enjoy your writing it's wonderful.

Hugs Jane