My oldest son recently moved out into his own place. His 20th birthday is next week. I feel equal parts of pride, joy, and utter heartbreak.
I was 19 and married nearly two years when I had my son. If you know me at all it will not surprise you that by the time he was born I had read every book on the subject of parenting, babies, pregnancy, breast feeding, SIDS, you name it.
I had my own ideas about child rearing and looking back I praise God for the grace of confidence in my discernment. I worked my way through every issue and didn't waiver in my beliefs about what was best. My mother calls me bullhead. She is entirely correct. One week after he was born my mom was prepared to hitchhike back to Indiana. (Did I mention I was married to a marine in those days, during Desert Storm and living in Virginia Beach?)
In all honesty I was glad when everyone left, and Corey and I were home alone. It was perfect. We co-slept, nursed on demand, attachment parented, and bonded as closely as I could ever have wanted.
When we hit bumps a few years later, Kindergarten teachers began using letters to describe my baby boy - ADD, ADHD, I went to work and educated myself on the issue. I pooled resources, visited child psychologists who specialized in this new diagnosis. The consensus was he was a very busy little BOY who needed firmer boundaries, more responsibility, and chances to be successful. - done.
Loading the dishwasher at 4 yrs. old, my mom thought me a tyrant.