He went missing a few days ago ... was not where he was supposed to be. I thought I'd lost him forever, thought I would never see him again and my whole body went heavy. Very hard to breathe ... just as we called the police, he was found. So we uncalled the police and the relief washed through so fast my legs buckled.
"He's alive? Great. Now I'm gonna kill him."
He's only ten - almost eleven. I give him freedom and trust, rules, boundaries, jobs. I tell him ... I know it's hard, being a kid! Sometimes I'm not such a great mother and I bend at the pressure of it all, this constant being in control of these humans that came out of my body.
And then I remember that my control is only an illusion, anyway.
He was so sorry, so contrite .. thought he would get away with it, didn't realise we would all be out looking for him. Wrote me a note ... "Mum! I'm so so so sorry for making you worry and sad. It was the badest thing I ever done and I won't ever do it again!"
I rang my mum and told her I wish I could move into her spare room. Told her that parenting is BULLSHIT, that children aren't even GRATEFUL for all of the sacrifices we make. Mum completely understood, as only a parent with four grown-up kids can.
Dave and I have been parenting children of various ages and sizes for many years, now. It's a privilege, it's wonderful, it's frustrating, disappointing, tiring. I've learnt a lot about parenting, mostly through trial and error. We muddle through, think that it will get easier as they get older. I'm starting to realise it's harder.
Late the other night we went through punishments and grounding. Apologetic letters were written, promises made. He's so little and big at the same time. The elongated face of a pre-teen and the heart of a lion, starting to find his feet in the world.
"Mate, the thought of something happening to you ..... breaks my heart up into a thousand pieces."
We cried. I climbed up onto the top bunk and held him like I've always held him and I wished we could stay like that forever.