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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The beginning and the end

There is a step in parenting no one really tells you about. My eldest has a partner who has become very much a part of our family. A regular fixture in the house and at family meals, and even came on a daytrip for lunch with my mum and a family visit to the dentist (to be fair, I don't think he realised how long the whole exercise was going to take, but came along and joined in the joking fights over who was DJ in the car and which of my music didn't sound like a poor copy of Avicii - apparently all of it does, according to the kids, but they're wrong).

I like this kid. A lot. But they're young, so it stands to reason that eventually, a time will come when we say goodbye. If we're lucky enough for that opportunity. There has been a previous long term relationship, and after 4 years, one day we just never saw him again. Gone, with no warning. At least no warning we were privy to, the parents and siblings. No chance to say goodbye.

After a recent Sunday lunch out, we played Mario kart on the machines left in the foyer of the shopping centre, everyone taking turns to compete with each other. The five of us are now a very easy six. I looked at my husband while the kids were playing and beamed "I love this" and he knew I meant the new dynamic, and agreed.

But fast forward through life, and another friend is planing his exit after twenty something years of marriage. It's sort of heart breaking. There's no one else, just a lot of unhappiness. An empty nest about to become emptier.

For some reason it makes this new love seem all the more precious. And perhaps more ephemeral. Glittering on the horizon only to one day be a vague memory, now irrelevant.

My heart will break just a fraction at the loss too, but I'll probably have no chance to say goodbye. I guess this is a part of parenting that you never get to grow out of, as the stage is a permanent one, regardless of age.

I guess this is why you hold onto the minutes you get together as tight as you can.

Linking with #TheRandom #StayClassyMama  #MLSTL and #DreamTeam

17 comments:

  1. You’re right that this is a facet of parenting that we’re never told about. I’ve been in this situation with my kids. I can remember feeling sad to lose these young people #MLSTL Will share

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  2. We haven't got there yet with our 21 year old and I'm both looking forward to it and also the opposite. It's yet another part of parenting they forgot to put in the guidebook. But yes, you hold onto the minutes tightly. #MLSTL

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  3. Yes, hold on to the good times tightly. I guess that's why the Museum of Broken Relationships attracts visitors. People can relate to the loss, sadness, new hope, and new happiness. #MLSTL

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  4. That's so sad....I've been through breakups with both of my sons where I really liked their girlfriends, so it was hard on me, too. Especially the first one. Not only do our kids' hearts break, but ours do, too, to some extent. And then they break again and again watching our kids trying to rebuild and move on, still hurt but doing the best they can.

    Kim

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  5. This is so true and well said. And as you pointed out, we are best served by living in the moment and enjoying the present. #MLSTL

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  6. This post strongly resonated with me. Your closing sentence reminding us to hold onto the minutes we get together as tight as we can, is very sage advice. Thank you for this thought-provoking, heartfelt post. #MLSTL

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  7. I can so relate to this Lydia - our daughter had a devastating break-up with her guy half way thru her uni degree. Trying to support her, while being annoyed at him - and sad to lose him at the same time. Fortunately young people are resilient and new love finds its way. It's the older ones that I feel the saddest for - how do you start again after 20+ years of marriage?
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

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  8. What an interesting topic Lydia, I really enjoyed this and having three daughters, we've had our fair share of these issues but thankfully they are all now quite settled with lovely partners. But over the years we've had our hearts broken too! #mlstl

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  9. Hi Lydia, Nice to meet you. Sort of two sides of the coin. Although, are they?

    Many young relationships do last, sometimes a surprise to everyone.

    Many long term relationships don’t, also a surprise to everyone.

    Yes, hold onto the minutes. They are precious. Thank you for sharing a thought-provoking post:) Erica. #MLSTL and sharing SM

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  10. Hi Lydia, my son has had difficulty finding a long lasting relationship after the break up of a 10 year relationship. You hate them going through pain, but their happiness is so important and not causing pain is not enough reason to stay. We are always parents no matter how old our children are and there is always the urge to want to make things better for them without the pain. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL. x

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  11. Oh Lydia, this was so sunshine filled and I am glad you enjoyed those moments and will continue to. Life just gets very complicated at times when relationships change and our kids (for example) as adults, both ended their marriages. Me? Let to try to help the ex-son in law through his pain. He came to me. That was hard. The other ...silence. Not connection from the ex-DIL even though we spoke all the time when we were caring for the children. Respect for our son's wishes is why no contact. It is very very complicated. Denyse x #mlstl

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  12. I have lived through this, too. When he was in his early 20's my son had the perfect girlfriend. We all enjoyed doing things together and she was over the house all the time. Then they broke up and she started dating someone else and I don't know who was more devastated. Probably him, but I wasn't just devastated for myself, but for him as well. Since that time, numerous girls have come and gone but I've never really had a relationship with any of them...nor has he stayed that long in any of those relationships.

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  13. I am not at this stage yet. Although I have a nearly 19 year old much like his mum before him he is slow at getting involved in the whole relationship thing. But your point about cherishing moments and indeed making memories resonates with me. As my late Dad said to me not long before he died "Life changes" and I guess we just have to roll with that. #StayClassyMama

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  14. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post #stayclassymama@_karendennis

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  15. Popping back #dreamteam@_karendennis

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  16. I'd never really considered how I will feel about my children's future boyfriends and girlfriends. I know my uncle has gone through similar with his 2 sons breaking up after long term relationships. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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  17. This is so true. It is odd as the girlfriend or boyfriend too. I can still remember how said I was to say goodbye (or not) to an ex's mother. #DreamTeam

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