Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As we grow older, the memories of our youth jade ever so slightly, giving us that rosy vision of what has been.
As my eldest sprog prepares to fly the nest to University, I get the feeling I’m reliving my youth through him. Of course, one cannot avoid the pangs of heartache at the thought of said sprog leaving. He’s my eldest, the one I devoted unlimited time to and energy to; the one that resembles me the most personality-wise – so yes, we get on like fire and ice most days.
This doesn’t stop me from pulling out the memories of me at his age and how I felt about leaving home. I couldn’t wait! Home equalled a prison with burglar bars and ridiculous rules set to break even the sweetest and most obedient child in creation (that I was not). My parents’ loved us like anacondas love their food: suffocated and crushed.
My years spent mothering my sprogs should have given me a better perspective on my own parents and hindsight of my behaviour as a youth should soften my jaded perspective of their parenting skills. Instead, all I seem to do is fluctuate between mourning the loss of presence of my eldest before he goes and celebrating his freedom from our parenting shackles. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I am far from out of the woods because my next sprog will be journeying forth at the same time next year on her own adventure too.
My rosy reminiscence of my past definitely affects my present and I feel the need to go all out to make sure my sprog has a soft landing in the big ugly world – unlike my first experience. Deep down I know that no matter what I do, he will have his own vision of life and what it should offer and when he grows to into a ripe old prune like me, his rose-tinted perspective will shape how he waves good-bye to his offspring. And so the loop continues.
Therefore, no matter what we go through, our pasts will always affect our reactions to the present. I just hope I do enough today to ensure my sprogs’ opinions of me tomorrow leads to happier memories.