On Fireworks, Regrets and Parenting

(This is a personal post…come back tomorrow if you prefer more of our juicy B2B marketing strategies)

I’m not sure why I looked up. Perhaps the train had a sudden movement? Or my seatmate stretched? But, as I lifted my head up, I caught a glimpse of something through the branches of a swaying tree.  For the space of two heartbeats, a brilliant red and gold fireworks display lit up the night and the tree.

It was gone before I could fully register what I’d seen.

Even as I was marveling at the beautiful surprise, I was mourning how quickly it had disappeared. I felt almost angry, filled with regret that I couldn’t make the train stop and somehow hoard the moment.

I was still puzzling over that feeling of regret when I walked in the door. My 6 year old son screamed “Mommy,” and ran full tilt towards me. But even as he catapulted into my arms, I was equally aware that my older two sons were at camp and that the house felt full of their echoes.   My feeling of sadness solidified, and I knew why.

My children are getting older and I’m struggling with it.

To be honest, it seems to be a losing battle. My eleven year old’s world is expanding rapidly — he enters middle school in just a few weeks. Meanwhile, my nine year old sometimes seems happiest away from home and on a baseball diamond, a natural Captain of the team.

I know my job as a parent is to help them embrace their growing independence, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be.

As I pulled my youngest into a hug that night, I realized that I’ve been making a significant parenting mistake.  I’ve been letting my sadness over “what was” creep into our “what’s now.”

I know how to be happy during the fireworks display.  I have to learn how to be at peace with the quiet night that follows.


To reach Elizabeth:

Phone: 212.840.0017
Email: elizabeth@blisspr.com
Twitter: @elizabethsosnow
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