Pushing Adulthood Away

As I sit on the edge of your bed, my hand gently smoothing away the hair on your forehead, I feel the heavy pressure and angst of being a teenager ebbing away. You’re sleeping now, the fever having finally settled. And, there, just as when you were smaller, I sit, watching you. To me, you are still my little girl. Especially as you sleep.

Your face relaxed. Your brow not furrowed. Your mouth not uttering those words so typical. Your shoulders not hunched as they get ready for another huge sigh. The weight of being a teen gone just for a few hours. And, to me, you are you again.

Your need for me, now you’re poorly, no different to when you were little. But, if I’m honest, there is a difference. Adulthood is forcing its way to you. I’m struggling to hold it off. Adulthood with its pressures, its worries and even its fake tan. I can feel it lurching at the door of your bedroom as I sit here with you. If I could just hold it back for a while longer I would.

She’s the uninvited guest. I have no recollection of having asked her to make an all singing and dancing appearance. I remember wanting children. But there she is all dressed up and ready to party with an insistence of taking you along. There are long legs, there are heels. I see make-up and secrets I don’t know.

You talk of her constantly. You show me pictures. Your eyes sparkle with the adventures you want to share, the places you will go. I can feel your excitement. She’s everywhere, this new best friend. You want to look like her, be like her, talk like her. You take in all of her being whilst she’s taking away your childhood. This was never an exchange I agreed to. But I’m not sure I have a choice.

But, for now, as I sit upon your bed, watching you sleep, you’re still my little girl. If I can hold back adulthood for just a little more time, and will you to know that childhood makes for a wonderful carefree friend, I’ll sit for a little while longer. Childhood lets you play without a worry, get muddy without a care. Childhood doesn’t even know the angst of adolescence, the pressure of social media. Childhood sees the beauty in everything. It sees life for what it really is. Let her be your friend for the longest time.

Adulthood will still be there waiting, sweetheart. She’s loyal like that. Well, a little too keen if you ask me. But give childhood a chance. She’s here for the shortest time and you’ll miss her once she’s gone. Damn it, I’m missing her and not seeing her too often. But I see her tonight as you sleep and I’m glad a little part of her is still here fighting to keep her rightful place of friendship for just a few more hours. Adulthood can stay hovering at your door for a little while longer … just saying.

 

 

 

79 thoughts on “Pushing Adulthood Away

  1. Really, really beautiful Helen. God it’s tough isn’t it. I think they all look like our babies when they sleep – even the older girls. Even when I lived on my own, if I was ill, only my mum could fix it and she would turn up with the usual hotch potch of remedies. None of them ever worked, but her being there did. I moved out in my early 20’s so you still have plenty of time. It’s the accepting the change of a new relationship isn’t it – even though you haven’t finished with the old one. Thank you!! #TWEENSTEENSBEYOND

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  2. Beautiful. And so sad and true, I’m battling with this myself at the moment with just one of mine but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have 3 in the same boat! At least I have a 8 year old to soften the blow for me! #teentweenbeyond

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  3. This whole growing up thing is so hard and particularly as they cross that 18 barrier into adulthood. Exciting for them, but heartbreaking for us. You obviously have a really close relationship which is wonderful and hopefully will get to reap the benefits of that bond for many years to come. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. And with one passing her driving test yesterday it feels even harder! Yes, you’re right, the closeness will of course take us forward but why so quickly?! Thank you for your lovely comment xx

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  4. Oh my goodness – wailing – this is everything, all my feelings, all my thoughts wrapped up into words. Only the parent of a teen girl truly ‘gets it’. Perfection x

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  5. So beautiful Helen and it made me cry. I love the way you have written this, it really touches a nerve. We are all batting the foe of adulthood and we all know we are going to lose. It is painful and I feel the loss keenly. Thanks for putting it into words for us all. xxx Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Oh, thank you, Sharon. I think many of us parents with teens are really feeling this at the moment. Not helped by one passing her driving test this morning! It’s the bitter sweet isn’t it? xx

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  6. As always, so beautifully written. Makes me yearn for my childhood a bit!! Everything grows 😒 ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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  7. I feel everything you write here, I see it coming towards Aspen so much faster than her or I are ready for. It’s exciting, but sad too. One of my favourite posts ever.

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    1. You’re so right, it is so exciting to watch them grow but equally so hard for us as parents. We have them as little children for such a very short time xx thank you so much for your very kind words xx

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  8. My eldest is not even 6 yet and this made me cry just thinking about it. She’s already more grown up than she was last year. It’s going by so fast. The changes seem to happen over night. Thank you for this beautiful post.
    #familyfun

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  9. As ever, Helen this is exquisitely written. You have such an incredible gift to be able to write so beautifully and evoke such emotion in every sentence. Such an amazing post. Thanks for sharing lovely. Hope you’re well! #coolmumclub Xxx

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  10. “Childhood sees the beauty in everything. It sees life for what it really is. Let her be your friend for the longest time.” Exquisite writing, that brought tears to my eyes before the end of the first paragraph. This is SO beautiful! I am going to save this post somewhere for those times when my (still little) girl (and my boys too) seems to grow up too fast.

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  11. Oh this melted my heart! Such beautiful, poignant words! Why is the draw to grow up always so strong?? #coolmumclub

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  12. Ooh I’m all goosebumps and prickles – what a beautiful piece of writing Helen. As I’m reading in between nipping up to settle the mouse who seems a bit poorly, it’s reminded me to be patient, and embrace these moments. I can only imagine how fast they will fly by.
    Thanks so much for sharing with #coolmumclub

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  13. Wow, a beautiful post. This really moved me and made me hope that my little girl doesn’t grow up too fast. And she’s only 2. It must be hard but it’s lovely you are embracing every moment xx #BlogCrush

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  14. Oh that is beautiful. I love watching my toddlers sleep, to see them so peaceful and innocent, I am pleased to hear it never goes away. I have read a few posts this week about children growing up and it’s really hit home. I know I am a long way off but it will come around all too quick. Keep enjoying your little girl as long as you can, as long as she lets you, as I have no doubt you will. Thank you for joining us at #familyfun xx

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  15. Just popping back from #blogcrush The inevitability of adulthood can be disheartening, especially when it encroaches on their childhood, but your lovely post is inspiring me to do even more to treasure the moments that we have, right now, as a family. Beautiful post #blogcrush

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  16. I feel like I always write a tome at the end of your posts. I’m physically unable to just now as i’m shaking holding back the tears that have caused such a lump in my throat. What a bitter irony it is that one of the things in life that is causing you some of your greatest sadness also happens to be the thing that brings out your best words. #NoLinkyJustAnAdoringFan

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  17. This is beautifully written Helen. My eldest is only 3 but already it terrifies me how quick he is growing so can only imagine how you must feel with 3 teenagers all growing up.xx #marvmondays

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