The Inescapable Reality Of Parenting

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Family

I’m sitting here looking at the high school graduation announcements for my daughter. Wasn’t it yesterday that I was teaching her how to make the “A” in her name? No, actually it was a very long time ago.

Parenthood is something that never ends, but the job description changes each year that passes. Where there was once a little child that needed her diaper changed and food cut, there now stands a beautiful young woman.

How am I coping?

Well, one day at a time just like you do.

We all see and feel experiences in our own way. My heart is filled with pride for all that my daughter has accomplished during her young life. I was reading Blue Cotton Memory’s post on unconditional love last night and it really hit home. I made quite a lengthy comment which said…

Unfortunately, we have to watch our children suffer through trials and hardships if they want to learn things the hard way. I hate consequences and tried to avoid all unhappiness by doing the things people told me would get me from point A to point B with the least amount of pain.

Our children, however, are not always going to do what we tell them to do. Sometimes they will choose the path that takes them all the way to Hell, but we have prayer to comfort us. God will reach down and cradle our children if we are faithful to Him.

This whole post has been my struggle. I want to save my daughter from all pain and hardship. I want to shelter her. I want to keep her safe. I want to make her happy. I want her to experience all the greatest things in life. That’s normal, but I can’t do that for her. God gave her life to experience and learn for herself. I don’t have the right to take away her free agency – it is God given to each of us.

I totally understand how you feel. My daughter has been my life for 18 years and I am having a very hard time within myself as I let go and let her learn from scraped knees that I know I could have helped her avoid.

Each day I hold a prayer in my heart that she will remember the things I taught her and that if she strays, eventually she will return. My daughter is really God’s child and he only loaned her to me for a short time to teach and guide. Hopefully, I did a good enough job. If not, I’m sure God will fill in the missing pieces.

There is not one right way to cope with change, but children will grow up and that is an inescapable reality of parenting them. I’m happy she has become a lovely young woman and now I must focus on filling my time constructively.

Sometimes I’m just going to put on my rose colored glasses and pretend that everything is beautiful until I can accept life as it is now. But as time goes by, I’m sure I will settle into my new parenting role. Alyssa will always love me and need me, just in a different capacity. That part I totally understand.

But I sure will miss hearing her softly snore while I kiss the top of her silky head and baby lotion covered body. Is there anything like the smell of your own child?

Hmmm…I don’t think so.

Times change, roles change, but nothing will change the fact that she is my daughter or that I am her mother.

I love you Alyssa.

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn May 11, 2011 at 3:55 am

My oldest daughter is 11 and I am just starting to realize that she is no longer a baby and is starting to find her own way in the world. I hate it. I'm not quite ready for this new independence she has found. Here we think that diapers and crying are the toughest part of parenthood. How wrong we were. It doesn't get any easier. They grow up… we still worry. I'm freaking out that my baby only has one more year of elementary school left. I can't imagine her high school or college graduations.


2 TJ May 11, 2011 at 6:07 am

I love you too Alyssa. I love you Sherry and I love you Jesus for the both of them.



3 Teresha@Marlie and Me May 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Oh Red, I know Alyssa's graduation is bittersweet for you. Remember I told you once before…she may not need you as much, but she will always want her mother


4 Mommy's Juggling Act May 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

*sniff* Thanks for making me cry. My stepdaughter will be 17 in a few months. A senior next year. I have watched her grow and spread her wings since she was my daughter's age (almost 7). Even though she doesn't live with her she is my first child. I miss her terribly when she's not with us and it pains me everytime she leaves. The teenage into adulthood years are hard and you just want to bubble wrap them and keep them safe. She provides us with joy and many memories. She is a good role model for my kids. They learn what to and not to do by her actions and consequences. I want to keep them young too. They grow up so quick. I remind myself I have to let go a little bit so they can grow, learn and be all they can be.
Your Alyssa sounds like a wonderful daughter.


5 Smart Moms Saving Money May 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I am almost going through the same thing you are, except this is my baby. I've always thought this would be easy because I always believed in letting them fall, because I know that's when you learn the most. And I am not a big mushy, type person at least not in touch only by the lyrics I write. Now that it's here, I am having a very hard time with it. I see she is way smarter then I was at her age, I had the street smarts, but she has the brain. As I watched her latest film last night at their award show I was reassured even more that she will do just fine. She is super talented and it makes me very proud to see so many people enjoying her talents, and complementing her.
Good luck in cutting the string and thanks for sharing it's nice to see somebody else in the same boat.
Sincerely a very proud momma,


6 PJ May 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hey Red! Just be proud of the job you have done and leave the rest to God. As He says in His Word,
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6, and I just know by reading your post and hearing your voice that you have done this. You can be assured that she will remember what you have taught her because God will bring it to her remembrance. As far as "coping" with change, (like I should be talking about that) LOL! Look at it not as "coping" but getting to a deeper or higher level with Alyssa. Instead of communicating adult to child, or adult to adolescent it will be on a more "equal" or mature level. That's a good thing.
Love ya bunches!


7 bluecottonmemory May 14, 2011 at 3:56 am

We make a beautiful Chorus Red!:) Or is a lament? I like how you show the struggle – how to find joy when maybe your children are not making choices for the future we would have for them. I need a pair of those rose-colored glasses, too. I need to learn how to find joy when our kids hurt because of choices they know better than to make:)

We'll lift each other up in prayer and encouragement, just like God told us to. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in the uncomfortable part of this journey!


8 July 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Awwww – just "stumbled upon" you because of Lexi at VoiceBoks and found your sweet blog. My baby just graduated and heads to college soon, have written about it all month. I'll be following you ~


9 kelly August 8, 2011 at 3:14 am

hi red….as we found out a year ago…you and i had this in common. my only child graduated in june also. he is now 1 1/2 weeks away from leaving for college {tears}. may our loving God be with both of us as mothers and our children with the futures that lie ahead.


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