My children are growing older, which means they're civilized to the point of being able to go out on a social errand more than once a month and they have motives, wishes, and dreams of their own. They have friends. Hobbies. Obligations. Interests.
I always looked forward to the new freedom of being the parent of adolescent children, but now I miss infancy—a pliable little life form with such easily understandable needs. Keep her dry, keep her fed, keep her warm, keep her close.
Sibling rivalry is making me want to SCREAM! Oh, and sometimes (but not often) I do. Why these children cannot treat each other with diplomacy and respect is beyond me! All three of them have enviable vocabularies, sophisticated intellects, and empathetic, compassionate outlooks. When there's conflict (I was sitting there! No, I was!) all these things fly out the window. Tears erupt. Wails ring out.
My comfort? The neighbors are mostly people with grown children. When our daughters break down into choking sobs over a "who gets to bounce on the trampoline first" discussion, the neighbors understand. When R screams like she's being murdered, the neighbors realize she's actually just trying not to be ignored. And when, once in a while, I shout "I CAN NOT STAND THIS FIGHTING!!" then they understand I do still love my children. I do, but how they wear me out!