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True Love at First Sight

When we looked into our newly born baby’s eyes, there was no match for the love experienced.

What happened along life’s journey?

Somewhere between the cradle and high school, we forget that all-encompassing love we experienced at first sight of our baby. At that moment we were willing to throw ourselves in front of a bus to protect our child. So many things get in the way of that deep soulful love. Life itself isn’t designed that we continue to dote on children past the age of five.

Children start having tantrums at two; tantrums all by themselves shock us completely out of the honeymoon phase. Their insistence that they become individuals, by bulking against every boundary put in place to keep them safe, further pushes us out of the honeymoon chamber and into the cold cruel cellar called reality.

Adolescence finds us holding on to children as if they are wild stallions and need to be conquered. This ride can be so turbulent that by the time they reach eighteen, we are hanging on by a thin thread. Does life with teens have to be a bad roller coaster ride, a long drawn-out chess game?

By the time they hit high school, most of us have said (more than one time}, I can’t wait for you to get out on your own. If we were disciplined enough to not say it, we thought it.

By the time they reach eighteen we are happy that college, the army, trade schools, or whatever are away from home, the further the better. we start mentally packing their belongings in their senior year of high school.

We start making plans on how to use their empty room. This is a subtle hint to the teen that there is no returning home for long-term occupancy. Unless they plan to sleep on the sewing table.

Today is Valentine’s day. It’s a good day to remember the adoration we had for this person when they were in the cradle. Let’s spend time together looking at baby pictures? Tonight, get off the bad roller coaster ride, put the chess set away, and share a favorite restaurant, meal, movie, or whatever is enjoyable.

Just for this moment in time, let’s allow ourselves the indulgence of doting on teens in a way we haven’t done in years.

Yes, indeed there is an end to the madness. It comes too soon and often leaves us with ambivalent feelings. I can say from experience, you will wish that you had spent more time romancing your teen, and less time conquering.

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