Parenting. The hardest job you'll ever do.
The sentiment is overused and trite. But like many oft used phrases; it is trite, but true.
When is it the hardest? When your 9 month old is running a fever and can't tell you where it hurts? When your 6 year old's beloved pet dies? The first breakup of a serious relationship?
The answer is that it gets harder as they get older. When the problem can't be solved with hugs and some motherly words of wisdom.
I used to make fun of my mother. The fact that I was over 40, living half-way across the country, and I still needed to "call in" so that she wouldn't worry. She would still weigh in on our decisions: major purchases, childrearing, vacation plans. I would laugh with The Bearded One on late Saturday afternoons as we left the harbor. "Time to call Mom. She'll be worrying." And yes, she was. She would be waiting for the call telling her we were safely off the water. I laughed. And now I am ashamed of it.
I'm sitting here, at 1:15 in the morning. Unable to sleep. Half watching Hoarders. Worrying. And it isn't a laughing matter anymore. It just hurts that I can't make it better. That Stubble has to find his own way. That there is nothing that I can do to make it easier.
So here I sit. Feeling sad. Feeling guilty. Feeling like a Mom.