The part no one tells you about

Does anyone out there ever feel like a complete and utter failure as a parent? I do. I raised three amazing children, however, one, the youngest is determined to stumble through life the hard way. I try to be a good parent even though he is technically an adult now. I try to be there without being smothering, without giving advice unless asked specifically for it. I try the tough love; you have to do that when they are out of control, throwing things, breaking things, just angry at the world.
You can’t let the wild accusations pierce your heart, although that one is a tough one, you have to stand firm and not allow the one to override the obvious good you have achieved as a parent.
No one tells you that this is the tough part, oh they all talk about potty training and teaching manners, and getting through the horrendous homework load phase, but no one ever tells you about this.
This is the most difficult part of being a parent, the letting go, while still being there for your child, guiding but not demanding, giving but not enabling. My own mother did this with such aplomb, I wish she were still here for me to ask how she did it.
I myself was a difficult teenager that seemed to stumble for a bit, my mother never judged, never blamed and never offered ultimatums, however, she was always there to listen and gently guide. I remember asking her what I should do one time, she so did not want to tell me, finally, after much badgering on my part she said, well, I’ll tell you but I don’t expect you to do what I would do as you are a different person. I try to be that way; it is hard with this one.
No one tells you the pain of letting go when you see that they are stumbling on the wrong path, no one tells you how difficult it is to be on the outside of your child’s life watching them suffer, no one tells you parenting doesn’t end at 18. Oh the government tries to tell you that, by not allowing you to make doctor appointments and by limiting your knowledge of their medical information, doesn’t matter that you pay the doctor bills or the insurance premiums. The government says that you should never know anything medically about your child. Even when you finally make a breakthrough and they say they are willing to go see someone for the problems they have been having.
I am telling everyone, the hard part is not watching them get on a bus to go to school for the first time, or watching them fall down physically on the baseball field when a they get hit by a ball, the hard part is not being able to help them when they are considered adults and you see them making horrendous mistakes. That is truly the hard part of parenting.

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