Parenting is hard and feeling that you are losing your kid is even harder.

Photo credit to Andrae Ricketts (@drezart) on Unsplash.com

** Warning: if you are easily triggered by real feelings or you are one of those toxic “always happy” people that don’t like to examine real feelings — please skip this post. Next week my Xmas post will be solely for you, Buttercups.**

** Warning: If you don’t like to read my drawn out post, skip this because I’m verbose and I’m making a point which might take over 5 minutes. Don’t act brand new. **


#Parenting101
#SometimesYouCryEdition

I have a tween. I’ve been a tween. Some might say I’m a giant tween in her late 40’s. None of these would be wrong. However, my life’s work right now is making sure I raise a good person who is intelligent, hard working, ethical, kind, caring, empathetic, clever, thinks fasts on their feet and sees the world from a global perspective. Needless to say my work is arduous, but very rewarding. I LOVE BEING A MOM.

Now, here’s a fun fact for you THAT SH** IS NOT EASY. There — somebody had to say it — parenting is hard as bleeeeeeeeeeep.

Why? Well because it is. Also, because I’m still evolving as a human being. Double also, kids think they know er’ thang (not everything… er’ thang). Triple also, they think they know more than you sometimes based on their limited experience in the world and it’s frustrating.

So Erica what are you whining about right now?
Get to the point.

Thanks so much for asking!

Tweens start to prioritize friends over parents. I don’t like it one bit. I was guilty of this behavior as a tween and a teen. It’s human. Damnit, I still don’t like it. More so, because it hurts. Raising someone you love to eventually be independent and having them start to pull away from you is a deeply hurtful feeling. And it’s completely normal, but today it hit me like a ton of bricks.

An incident ensued when I didn’t get to be my usual “helicopter parent” self, but said thing was really important to me and my Future CEO was like “meh” on the importance of it.

So today I started out my long commute lecture with the usual:
1. I’m your Mom, these things are important to me.
2. Kindness costs nothing. I know your friends are important and take a higher priority now due to tween socialization and evolution, but I’m still your Momma.

You know standard stuff…

And then for some reason, it all went left. Suddenly I blurted out –> “I’m trying to be the Mother I needed as a tween and teen. My Mom was clinically depressed and she wasn’t there. I hopped on buses, ran in track meets, performed in dance shows and there was no one there for me. When my Dad was involved, he was always there. … but then he died when I was 16 and my mother didn’t come out of her depression until I was 21. And guess what, she f*&^$$#^ died soon after. So these little things are big things to be because I’m old, I’m Black and I’m sick. I don’t know how long I have – so give me all the moments with you. I love you more than anyone on the planet including myself.”

And then I was like get a hold of yourself Erica, the whole hell… but I’m like a loose cannon when I start crying and pontificating on my life, it’s a very weird but normal thing I guess…

So it hit me but I was in mid sentence and so I just blurted it out, “I’ve been without my Dad since I was 16 and my Mom since I was 21. I left home at 17 and everything I’ve achieved in life, I did that by the Grace and Kindness of strangers, my community and my friends who helped me. I am alone. I’ve been without parents for 25 damn years. You are all I got kiddo. So I’m going to be selfish and ask you to put me and your Dad before your friends just a little while longer.”

And then my sinuses clogged up and I had to stop myself because I couldn’t breathe! (Chronic sinusitis with #Sarcoidosis is the WORSE!!!!)

I think my Future CEO understood my tear filled rant in the car, but I realized that I’m hyper aware that every moment I get as a parent I have to make it count, because when I’m gone I’m gone. Being a 46 year old, working poor, Black American Mother with a chronic illness means I ain’t going to make it to my centennial. I have to make every moment count. Always.

And this is the very vulnerable, ugly side of parenting. The morbid feeling that you are being left behind as your kid evolves and knowing that time is the most precious commodity you have – and for us working class poor parents– we are always short on time and always weathered from worrying about the future.