When my kids were little, it was easier. Not easier in the taking care of them part, because little is more demanding... they needed my constant attention. They were dependent on me for everything. Their most basic needs had to be provided for by someone else. They had to be bathed, fed, dressed, entertained, loved, sung to... etc. etc. As they grew, they became more independent. They could dress themselves, and as much as I was tempted to dictate what they wore, I had to let them clash and look ridiculous. They began to entertain themselves, in manners that I may not always (or still don't) approve of, but they were making their choices. On their own. Growing and learning and becoming their own people.
But at the end of the day, I was still the hero. Mom. The person who knew all the answers. The person who made all the bad things go away. The one who fixed hurts and wiped away tears. The person who they came to at night before bed for a hug and a kiss. Our relationship was easy. When your kids are little, you can screw up in every way possible, and they don't care. In their eyes, you still hang the stars in the sky. Back then, whey they were so dependent on me and I spent 80% of my time tending to their needs, I looked forward to the days when they would be older and less dependent on me. More able to do for themselves.
Now they are older, and headed into those turbulent teen years. Hormones are raging through their bodies, wreaking havoc on their emotions and mental stability. I'm not the same great mom that I always have been. Now I'm the subject of eye rolls that make me worry that perhaps they will get stuck in the back of their heads. I get huffed at so loudly I wonder that they have any air left inside them when they are finished. I get half-hugs, that aren't really hugs, but are a feeble attempt at continuing an old, standing "nightly tradition". Nothing I say is right. Nothing I do is right. Nothing between is us the same. One minute we can be engaged in a conversation, and the next minute be battling over something totally ridiculous. It's like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and never knowing from one minute to the next who you are going to be dealing with. I have to practice tough love and enforce difficult consequences and hope that at the end of the day, I am doing a good job and molding them into fine young adults. It's exhausting, physically and emotionally... and I am just so tired of never getting it right. I wish, that for just one hour, I could go back to when I was the hero. The one who hung the stars.