By Ryan Berry
I am continually amazed at how many different phases of parenthood my wife and I continue to go through. I thought there were three, maybe four phases and then they go off and become productive adults. Maybe take us out to dinner every now and then, cut grass to give their dad a break or hug their mom just because she is a great mom.
How hard could it possibly be to raise kids? I was the perfect child. My wife tells me she wasn’t that bad either. There was no way either of our kids would be anything like my brothers or any of her family. They would be more like us, right?
Somehow my wife gave birth to my mother-in-law combined with a couple of her sisters and my brother. I am not saying a kid being like my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law is a bad thing, but I definitely didn’t want my brother as my daughter.
We’ve always heard about sleepless nights when they are babies, but they never came. I thought for sure they were going to be more like me. To this day they are both good sleepers.
We endured the terrible two toddler years like champs. We had a few hiccups with our oldest daughter wanting to run away from us, but as she got older she pretty much gave up on running. (That’s why she started throwing a shot put instead).
My job was easy during the incredibly confusing teenage years. I just referred them to their mom.
I was hoping when they turned 20 we would magically have adult children that think like adults. Hahaha! What was I thinking? These early 20’s have me longing for their teenage years.
I honestly did not take into consideration how difficult and taxing the transition from kid to adult was going to be. It might be easier if love didn’t get in the way. One day they’re happy, the next day they’re miserable and then they’re discouraged, elated, disappointed, flying high, hitting rock bottom and then happy again. I don’t know if I should wear body armor or a party hat when I come in the house.
My oldest daughter might be figuring it out. She had though about going after a Master’s degree in psychology. She explained that a person’s brain isn’t fully developed until they are 25. She is about a year and a half away from full development. On the bright side, she told my wife the other day, “I can feel my lobes getting bigger.” I might try some Miracle Grow to see if we can speed up the process.
Then there’s my youngest. Statistically speaking she has five more years, but she is the one that is more like my brother. I don’t think his brain was fully developed until he turned 45.