When I was in my mid-20s and considered the possibility of having children, I imagined playing with dolls or army men, proudly watching dance recitals and baseball games, quiet story time, and going on picnics. I didn't think about what life would be like once my kids were teenagers. Who considers that before having children?
So, fast forward to a few years ago. My oldest became a teenager with a social life outside of the family and my youngest was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Nope. Was not in my plans.
We did what we had to do as parents. We adapted. We made new plans. Dreamt new dreams. What we didn't realize at the time was that we were building a very fragile house of cards.
Now, both of my sons are teens. The oldest will be 19 in June and my youngest will be 16. Each and every day I take a deep breath and exhale very slowly, praying that my boys are okay. That they are safe. That they are making good choices.
It's difficult to accept that my kids are in the driver's seat when it comes to the decisions they make. Not all have been good. In fact, some have been downright terrifying.
Life has been full of twists and turns. Nothing I planned and dreamt is as I thought it would be, That house of cards we built has tumbled. I tried grasping at the cards as they fell, but ultimately, it did no good.
Once again, we will rebuild. We will adapt. We aren't giving up.