ChangingDad

Making the most of a new life

Withdrawal symptoms

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Withdrawal symptoms.

It’s been over two weeks since my last blog post, and I’ve really missed writing it. So why have I passed on this pleasure? Well Karen and I came straight off our Berlin holiday and after only about 12 hours at home the movers arrived. Since then it has been a hectic schedule of getting our new house in order (more of which at a later date) and it feels like normal life has been suspended for the last couple of weeks while we settle down.

The greatest change to our normal life, however, was that we left the boys with their grandparents (Fritz and Frieda) in Germany for four days. This was something that was very hard for us, not because we didn’t think the boys would have a good time (they did), but that it was the longest that we had both been apart from them since they were born. We worried where they’d settle and whether and how Sam in particular would manage without his constants (he did). We worried too about what we would do if “anything happened” (it didn’t). We also fretted over whether we should Skype with them so that they wouldn’t fret about whether or not we were still ‘there’ (we didn’t and they didn’t), or whether Fritz and Frieda could cope with two very boisterous boys (they did).

In the end the boys did lots of very exciting things in Berlin (mainly involving different forms of transport) and also got to know their grandparents and cousins much better. In other words Jake and Sam were pretty oblivious to their parent’s worries and just got on with it and, if anything, thrived. I’m sure (I hope) that if there is a next time we will be much calmer about it.

Worrying comes as part and parcel of being a parent, I worry every day about whether what the boys are doing will bring them to harm, and whether we are leading them down the right road. But, if those few days taught me anything, it was that there is not just one right road: there are many. We can help our children pick the right sort of road, but the journey is ultimately theirs.

This probably won’t completely stop me from wanting to be in control of their lives completely, but it might help me to begin to loosen the virtual reigns once in a while. I’m sure that this will lead to withdrawal symptoms and will often be hard, but they are my withdrawal symptoms. In the end when I do ease off I often find it’s at that moment that the boys do amazing things and if I can find it in myself to do it I’ll have done a pretty amazing thing, too.

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