When my son was three years old, I couldn’t wait until he was older. He was hard to handle at that age. He had clear signs of ADD and many a times you could find me huffing and puffing while running after him. It was tough and physically draining. As I waited for him to grow up, so did his issues. The physical work became less but instead something unexpected happened. I became exhausted mentally. His issues started to keep me awake at night, wondering what the future held in store.
Whomever said “small children, small troubles, big children, big troubles” was right. When they’re young, you’re physically working hard, thinking you’ll never sleep again. But the day comes when you’re getting your nights back, the physical work becomes easier but the emotional part is getting more intense. Problems become heavier and nights are now for tossing and turning.
Then comes the time when you finally survived the teenage years. The kids are now grown and you give a sigh of relief, hoping your work is done. But a parent’s work is never done. In our culture, we marry the kids off young. Now we worry if they’re ready for marriage. Once they marry, we worry if they’re happy. Do they know how to handle married life? Will they respect their spouse? Will they find jobs? And on it goes.
I don’t think a parent can ever stop worrying about their children. Is there ever a time when parents can just relax and know their work is done? I guess it’s in the parents DNA to worry forever. But I believe that one day, the fruits of our labor will be visible and then, we can breathe and know we have done our share. The rest is up to them.