It was bound to happen. He's been asking for some time but when Craigslist knocked, I answered. That's right, today we installed the bunk beds in his bedroom. This might sound like small potatoes and perhaps it is. I mean, we all grow up right? If we're lucky. And in order to make room for new things, we have to let go of the old to make room in our lives. He's pretty upset about having to part with his old bed, just as I get nostalgic and mushy when I see how he used to fit into a mixing bowl:
They told me when he was small, as a warning, that as soon as I had figured out what to do and how to do it in regards to parenting, the kid would go and change on me. This has turned out to be true. We're heading into T-Ball season at school, Kindergarten nearing it's end and already his friends have serious clout.
Not to mention the fact that the little man is starting to identify more heavily with his same-sex parent (all the life span theories I am learning in grad school social work theories fully support that this is normal and important.) I am in full support, too. My boy has a great dad who loves him and protects him and is a good role model for him. Our divorce is one of the ones the mediators tell new clients about, how co-parenting is possible and look at these guys, if they can do it, you can do it. That kind of thing.
It's just different than it was and I am adjusting to the new-found shape of things. I like to think we can see what is around the bend before I get there because I am older and should know what to expect but more often than not, I am the one being led by the hand my son or my niece, the two people I am supposed to be parenting. That's not to say I let them eat cereal for dinner and run amok all day and night. There is structure, but more and more I find I am the best guide when I follow their lead.
Still, parenting is heartbreaking. There is nothing else in the world like it. I try to explain it in these blog posts, my art, my facebook status updates, papers I write for school, it's impossible to sum it up. I should stop trying but maybe the beauty of it is in the struggle. Like parenting. All these new lines on my face. The greying of the hairs on my head. All part of the plan.
Here's to life as it comes and keeps on coming whether we think we're ready or not.