Thursday, July 12, 2012

They Don’t Mean It

          They don’t mean it.  It’s not intentional.  They have their lives to live.  It’s what we’ve raised them for.  We wanted strong men.  Women.  Adults to go out into the world and leave their mark.  To begin families of their own.  Careers.  Dreams.  We wanted them to be able to stand on their own two feet.  To do more than survive.  To thrive.  We wanted them to have lives of their own.
           They don’t mean it.  To leave us behind.  To experience those moments in life that we’ve dreamed of them experiencing without us.  They just got caught up in the moment.  Lost in the excitement, the rush of achieving.  They don’t mean to live their lives without us.
          They don’t mean it.  It’s not on purpose.  It’s not meant to hurt, even though it’s a dagger in the heart.  Twisting. 
          They’re grown.  Adults.  They don’t need us, because we did our job right.
          They don’t mean it, but it does hurt.  It hurts more than we want them to know.  Our lives have been based around them for two decades and more and now that they are on their own, they don’t need us anymore and that pain ages us faster than the years ever could.
          They don’t mean it.  To leave us out.  Forget us.  To think that we wouldn’t want to be a part.  Share the experience.  To just be there.
          For years we’ve been at baseball games and soccer games, school plays and fund raisers, attending everything they were a part of merely because they were a part of it.  We took them to rock concerts and stood by speakers that rattled our internal organs because they wanted to stand close.  We’ve sewed costumes and worked bake sales.  We drove to other cities for competitions and chaperoned the same field trip year after year.  Our lives were their lives.
          And then their lives didn’t include us anymore.
          They don’t mean it.  It’s just that they don’t understand.  We were there for the first step, the first tooth and the first day of school.  We snapped pictures at the first performance and screamed until we were hoarse at the first baseball game.  We hugged them and dried their eyes after the first break up and put up with the first emotional bout when the hormones hit.
          And there was more.  The first car followed by the first accident.  The first haircut and piercing of ears.  The first day of school followed years later by graduation and then the first day of college.  We were there for it all, the good and the bad.
          Then, before we know it, we aren’t there anymore.
          Not by our choosing.  Oh no, we want to be there.  We want to help decorate that first dorm or apartment.  We want to watch as they order their first drink at twenty-one and be a part of the silly pictures before they walk down the aisle.  We’re not done being a part of their lives, even though they want us to be mere spectators as opposed to participants.  So we sit and we watch and we’re ready for those brief moments that they do need our help.  We would never refuse them, because it allows us to be a part once again.
          They don’t mean it just like we didn’t meant it at their age when we were just as eager to do it all on our own.  They don’t mean it just as their kids won’t mean it when their time comes.  They don’t mean it, which is why grudges are never held and bitterness never reigns.  They don’t mean it, but it still hurts; at least, for awhile.
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