I got hit in the gut last night. Don’t you hate that? You are going along having a perfectly fine day, singing that stupid song stuck in your head, when, BAM! Reality decides that now, right god-damned now, is the time to teach (or re-teach) you that lesson.

My almost eighteen-year-old son decided last night to remind me that he is growing up. I’m not sure he meant to but that’s what he did. He claimed that he has his own thoughts and feelings. That he is on that gradual yet quick slide toward the exit. That he is no longer my baby.

Shit. How did that happen? And, how dare he do exactly what he is supposed to do?

I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. But this morning, my adult self found her way into my consciousness. Sleep can be good for that.

“Yes,” I attempted self-soothing. “He is supposed to push me away. And I am supposed to stand here immovable while he does what he is supposed to do.”

Oh, yeah. That. Sometimes, adultifying sucks.

I swear, if folks knew how difficult parenting was, the planet would cease to exist.

Job Available: Work hard. Never sleep. Live in an incessant filthy car. Guaranteed wrinkles and gray hair. Be a bottomless ATM. All in the name of raising these small humans to be decent and civilized adults. And on top of that, watch them before your very eyes defy you and leave you. If you can do all this with moderated emotions and a loving heart, sign-up here.

Honestly, who in his or her right mind would apply for that job?

But we do. And we would do it again. Because the world needs to continue. Because the unconditional love of parent to child is irreplaceable. Because sometimes what we exactly need to learn – loving, letting go and loving still – comes from those that are uniquely qualified to deliver.