The Thing About Parenting: Constant Change

Therapy is great. Every human needs a therapist. Every human needs to go through the process of finding one, working through things with them according to their school of thought and ability, and then knowing when it’s time to move to a new one.

I’ve been lucky to have had great therapists in my life. One of them who specialized in bioenergetics, was my therapist when I became a parent. He had a significant influence on my parenting due to a number of life circumstances and challenges with my own parents around that time.

Two things we spoke about and worked on made an indelible mark on my person:

  1. Work that you do as a parent is unlike any other.
  2. You children will change constantly – right when you think you understand them, they’ll change. And you’re back to finding your way again.

Parenting is something I’ve seen referred to as an example of a duty that is rewarding when you look at it in toto, but often frustrating in the moment. It’s terribly vexing when these younger versions of me act like I did at their ages. Except I don’t remember being as clever as they are.

Recently my 15 year old spent a few evenings banging around the kitchen until late at night. Making dough, dyeing it different colors, and being lost in their headphones, oblivious to the world.

Finally after 3 nights of this I felt like I needed to set a boundary and get to sleep at a reasonable time. Just then, there’s a knock at the door, and it seems that someone has baked cookies.

My teen comes out as trans using cookies.

I could see on his face that this meant a lot to him, and that it had taken a tremendous amount of courage to come out. We just hugged for a long time in the kitchen.

And yes, I must sheepishly admit that I took this picture *after* nibbling a cookie.

This parenting thing. It’s work I can’t imagine doing in any other context. And right when I thought I had it down, they changed.

And I’m grateful for every cookie crumb.