When I was 15, I took a test. Turns out I passed; I had succeeded in pregnancy.
The prospect of my impending parenthood was evidently far more scary for the grownups around me than it ever was for me personally. I guess I had an adolescent unformed pre-frontal cortex to thank for that. I imagine they looked at my short, blonde, slightly, shall we say ‘free spirited’ nature, and prayed things would just turn out.
They did. All 6 pound 15 ounces of her.
And then I made more. Boys this time. Each slightly bigger than the other.
So there I was, turning 21, with a new born a toddler and a preschooler.
Most people have a yard glass and a party; I had a maternity bra and cabbage leaves stuffed down the front. Swollen boobs are a bitch.
This year my once-was-a-6pound-15ounce-baby is turning 18. She has a car, a job, U.E ambitions and more Instagram followers than me.
My middle son is turning 17. He is looking for a car. He has left school and is about to start Polytech.
My youngest still needs rides to school. Thank God.
All this to say, sometimes at the age of 34 when you are saying goodbye to your ‘children’ as they drive off to attend a party, or an exam, or a job interview, or a date, or what you hope really IS a midnight Maccas run… It can break your heart.
How did it pass so quickly?
One day I was making musical instruments out of tin cans and pasta, the next I am talking to them about cam belts and safe sex.
Letting go of the true ‘childhood’ years, immersing yourself in the rules and regulations as they pertain to late adolescence; this shit takes guts and bravado. (Or meditation and wine).
It is safe to say I worry on a daily basis. That is what parenthood is: Loving, modelling, listening, educating, nourishing, and having a queen on whom you can cry, when you feel like you have no control.
Because you don’t. Not really. I can give advice, I can state consequences, I can use my colourful past as a ‘what never to do’, but at the end of the day, when they drive away from you, you just have to hope, pray and trust that they heard you over their Ipods and agenda.
It is the best and scariest time of my life.
But I wouldn’t undo it.