Today, my big boy turned ten.
Perhaps this should feel like a big deal, some sort of achievement, but really it was just another day for me. I feel underwhelmed by my own attitude and yet, here it is.
Of course, there were presents and a cake and a party. I was impressed that all of the friends he invited, actually came. Every single one and he’s only been at this school for two terms.
If anything, my heart aches for my big boy. He’s going through some challenges right now and even though I am doing all that I can to help him through them, I can’t help but put the blame squarely on my own shoulders. If only I was a better, more attentive, more playful, more happy mother.
Yet, I am doing the best I am able to right now. And I remind myself that I have two children and they both receive the same mothering and the difference between them couldn’t be starker. Is one more resilient than the other? Was one dealt a bung hand from the gene pool?
I don’t know. It is what it is.
I’ve been doing this on my own for more than three years now. Given everything that I and they have been through, it is amazing that we are doing as well as we are. Or at least they are.
I have a tendency to only see the bad aspects of my mothering. It’s mostly other people that point out the good things to me. The fact that my boys are not feral, that they are doing well at school, that they follow our family rules.
I’d like to see myself in a more positive light. Yet, every little thing that I supposedly do well, feels fake, feels like it’s not a big deal.
In truth, I’m going through some challenges right now, too. Perhaps more than I have in quite a while. My mental health is not great and getting through each day is difficult. I am getting help.
Today marks ten years of my mothering. I never expected to be where I am at this time. I never expected to be this unhappy. If only I knew then, what I know now. But there is nothing to be gained from “what if”s.
My big boy turned ten today. I can’t wait to see what kind of man he grows into. I hope he will be a good one. Right now he is compassionate and self-aware, cunning and clever, curious and eager to learn. Often infuriating. Always in need of a cuddle.
Parenting my big boy hasn’t been easy. He’s the one I make all my mistakes with, try new strategies with, learn from where I went wrong.
I hope I don’t screw him up too much. I hope that at the very least he knows he is loved.