on Feb 08, 2012 @ 07:14 am

Is there an imaginary cut off period when
Offspring become accountable
For their own actions?
Is there some wonderful moment when
Parents can become detached spectators in
The lives of their children and shrug,
'It's Their life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties,
I stood in a hospital corridor
Waiting for doctors to put a few stitches
In my son's head and I asked,
'When do you stop worrying?'
The nurse said,
'When they get out of the accident stage..'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my thirties,
I sat on a little chair in a classroom
And heard how one of my children
Talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
And was headed for a career
Making license plates.
As if to read my mind, a teacher said,
'Don't worry, they all go through this stage
And then you can sit back,
Relax and enjoy them.'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my forties,
I spent a lifetime waiting
For the phone to ring,
The cars to come home,
The front door to open.
A friend said,
'They're trying to find themselves.
'Don't worry!
In a few years, they'll be adults.
'They'll be off on their own
They'll be out of your hair'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

By the time I was 50,
I was sick & tired of being vulnerable.
I was still worrying over my children,
But there was a new wrinkle..
Even though they were on their own
I continued to anguish over their failures,
Be tormented by their frustrations and
Absorbed in their disappointments..
And there was nothing I could do about it.
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

My friends said that
When my kids got married
I could stop worrying
And lead my own life.
I wanted to believe that,
But I was haunted by my parent's warm smiles
And their occasional,
'You look pale. Are you all right' ?
'Call me the minute you get home'.
Are you depressed about something?'

My friends said that
When I became a grandparent
That I would get to enjoy
The happy little voices yelling
Grandma! Papa!
But now I find that I worry
Just as much about the little kids
As the big ones.
How can anyone cope
With all this Worry?

Can it be that parents are sentenced
To a lifetime of worry?
Is concern for one another
Handed down like a torch
To blaze the trail of human frailties
And the fears of the unknown?
Is concern a curse or is it
A virtue that elevates us
To the highest form of earthly creation?

Recently, one of my own children
Became quite irritable, saying to me,
'Where were you?
I've been calling for 3 days,
And no one answered
I was worried.'
I smiled a warm smile.
The torch has been passed.

(And also to your children... That's the fun part!)


6 Replies

So true on Feb 08, 2012 @ 07:22 am

So true~ love it


You know what they say.. on Feb 08, 2012 @ 08:36 am

You never stop being a mother no matter how old your kids are.

Aw! on Feb 08, 2012 @ 10:00 am

I think I will need to send this to my mom- she is constantly worried about me and my siblings even though my youngest sister is now in high school!

Alex on Feb 08, 2012 @ 10:11 am

Believe me it never stops even when we think we're close, something
happens and the mother in us come's out again. My brother's is 54 and my
mom still worries about him. He just says "Yes mother". It's funny to
listen to her talk to him, or any of us.LOL

never stops (nor should it!) on Feb 08, 2012 @ 10:37 am

It doesn't matter how old you are - you will always need your mom & dad. And because that's true, we parents know on a biological level that we will never stop being protective and observant of our kids. Assuming you have good and caring parents, you will need them all your life and when you're 80 years old and they finally pass away, you'll still feel like it was too soon to let go.

You're a parent for LIFE, just like you're someone's kid for life. And while that thought might scare the pants off someone who is not yet a parent, know that your relationship matures and changes over time. You won't be facing the same concerns you did when the kids were 2 months, 2 years, 20 years, or 60 years old.

We are social beings, and most of us define ourselves in social groupings. Dr Oz once mentioned that "loneliness is an epidemic in America" and that it's because of family groups (family defined as biological or a family of close friendships, etc) declining and people feeling increasingly isolated. I think that's very true!


Always Worried on Apr 03, 2012 @ 05:21 pm

You always worry about your kids, that will never change, then when they get married you now worry about your son-in-law and daughter-in-law , it never stops.

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