What parents don't say

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I didn't really listen when people told me that parenting gets harder when kids get older. People would tell me that when I talked about how little sleep I got the night before, or shared how the boys have yet another cough or virus. Older and wiser parents would say, "Yeah, that stuff is hard, but just wait until they are older and you can't fix it with a doctors appointment, or a few good hours together." What you don't know until you know.

Up till now I have always known what to do, or at least who to call, when the boys have been sick or stuff with other kids is happening at school. We work it out, we find a solution. But now that Casey is bigger, it isn't as easy. He is in control now of so many decisions and that is not something I realized could be so hard.

I really do only have control over myself. I cannot make anyone do anything. I just have to trust. EVERY SINGLE DAY AND HOUR I have to trust. Damn, I want to wrap my children in bubble wrap, but then they would be weird bubble children, so I can't. I want to mic them and put a camera inside their head so I can see what is happening, but I can't.

I can love. I can hug. I can feed. I can listen. I can try and make them laugh. I can kiss. I can play. I can plan fun events. I can pray. I can cry. I can promise that I will get them what they need, because I don't have all the answers, but someone out there might.

It is so hard watching your heart walk around outside your body and not be able to help them as quickly as you want. I know life is never as easy as we hope it will be. Pain and death of a loved one is always around the corner. I have to help my boys learn to cope. I have to help them find tools they can use during tough spots. I want them to be able say, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." I love that phrase, but I also love teaching them that it is OK to cry and feel pain. It is OK, because being vulnerable is part of this beautiful life.

Having these beautiful boys has made me so damn vulnerable. This is what parents don't say enough to each other, "I am scared." I don't think parents share how scared and vulnerable they feel. I don't think we talk about the hardships and fears enough. It is so scary to love someone so much. But it is so worth it.