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I love you but do I love you the right way?

It happened that some years ago, during some small talk with my colleagues at work, one of the ladies declared: “It is very difficult to raise a child nowadays”. I stared at her for a while wondering why she would say such a thing. We had known each other for many years, we had been working in the same office for a while and I had also known her family. She had a boy and both her husband and she were engineers and, from the material point of view, they were quite well off. They appeared to have a beautiful family which I was very fond of, and for that reason they represented role models for me and my family. The answer came later on. At that time I was pregnant and ready to become a mother. I had always wanted a boy as I have never seen myself as a mother for a little girl. And I had Dan. Both my husband and I searched for the most beautiful name at least that was what we thought at the time - , the most beautiful pram, and the most beautiful small pieces of clothing: we were learning together how to make good parents. We were almost kids when we had first met and now we had a child of our own. His first babbling, his first tooth, his first step, his first “mummy” and “daddy” were all welcomed with joy by both of us. Incidental fever would terrify us alike. However, it seemed strange to us hearing people say “small children, few worries; older children, more worries”. And that proved to be true. Years had passed and I felt the excitement of his first day at the kindergarten, than the first day of school and, finally the beginning of high school. The evening before this event he told me: “I hope you won’t come with me to school tomorrow!” It kind of hurt me as I hadn’t expected that. I looked at him and I realized that “my baby” had turned into a teenager. He was happy that a new stage of his life lay wide in front of him as a result of not so much an effort, that he had managed to enter the class he’d wanted with the promise of a career in a field that he considered to be appealing. All along these years we have been trying to build up a beautiful relationship with our son, willing to be both friends and parents at the same time. We all went through his first love story during the 6th grade holiday, we talked about less pleasant thinks such as cigarettes, alcohol, condoms, about his friends .I avoided scolding him too harshly before parent’s meetings at school as he had warned me about bad grades and skipping classes. His razor-sharp mind is barely put to work. We as parents are not “absurd”; we do not necessarily want straight A grades. We have given him a certain degree of freedom- and we still wonder whether that was a wise thing to do – so that he won’t feel the pressure of accomplishing what we haven’t or being what we want him to be. We have reached to a sort of balance so far but for how long will be able to protect him from the bigger threats out there: entourage, alcohol, drugs or other. It is a joy to be a parent but it is certainly difficult as well and I don’t refer only to the material aspect of the matter. You’d want the best for your offspring but does the love that we give them make us “good” or “bad” parents in certain situations?

I have already found some truth in my colleague’s statement: “It is very difficult to raise a child nowadays”. I love him now and I love him more each day. I see him grow and soon he’ll reach the age when his father and I first met. I often tell him: “I LOVE YOU, BUT DO I LOVE YOU THE RIGHT WAY? But this is a question I haven’t found an answer. Yet.

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