Kids. My kids. Adults all. But I think of them as all of their incarnations. Their lives started as little parasites inside my body. No, I didn't think of them as parasites. But, their whole existence depended upon me and my existence.
And, yes, I am pro choice. I don't think it's up to me or any of my business if a woman chooses not to become a mother. Or, if she's already a mother, to have another. But, I do wish there were fewer accidental or unwanted pregnancies.
But, I digress. Mine were all wanted. Loved. I don't know if you can really love a fetus, but you can love it's potential as your child.
So, it's strange to be the parent of these independent adults. I nursed everyone of them. Changed diapers. Got peed and puked on. Potty trained. My relationship with my children, in the early part of their lives, was the most intimate a relationship can be.
Nick and I tried to be their advocates. So many teacher conferences. Back to school night. Getting frustrated with the kids and their schools.
I can see now things that I could have done better. But I did the best I could in the moment. And it often was not good enough.
I am often apologizing to the kids. I say "I wish I had known about antidepressants when you kids were younger"
I know that I said hurtful things. To all of them. I would take it all back if I could. I am sorry for that.
I know that they all know how loved they are and always have been. I know that I am loved by all of my kids too.
And now, my babies are all adults. And I cannot just say any old thing to them. They still can have their feelings hurt by careless words. I try so hard to censor myself. But also, they have the "adult" power to do things to hurt me back. I have an eternal fear that I will be shut off from any of their lives for saying or doing something that they find offensive or just plain unacceptable. And it's a guessing game as to what's safe and what's not.
Nick's mom said once that she often dreamed of her children at around the age of 8 years old. I thought that was sort of strange. But now I understand.
These perfect, complicated former babies of mine are all independent living and thinking adults.
I am not involved in their every day, minute to minute lives. They don't "need" me like they once did. Days and even weeks go by when we don't talk. And as much as I miss all of them, it's the way life is and I think it's the way it's supposed to be.