I'm a fan of the show Parks and Recreation and while I'm sad that the series finale aired last night, I loved that it showed all the major characters at some point in the future. The same happened on the finale of Parenthood, and each time it was a treat to know what the future held for the beloved characters.
I think my community manager at ChicagoNow was impacted by both these shows because for tonight's Blogapalooza topic he gave us this challenge: "Pick any point of time in the future and write about what you hope/think/fear/expect your life will be like then." (Blogapalooza is an event during which all ChicagoNow bloggers are given a topic and exactly one hour to write and publish a post on it. You can see all the posts here.)
I'm usually a rule follower, but tonight I'm going to go rogue and offer my hopes and dreams for several points in the future. Wild and crazy, I know.
I hope to finish a few projects that I have started but are hanging over my head. I expect to enjoy the fact that my daughter has school, because she is off for County Institute Day on Friday. I think this child has had only one full, five-day school week thus far in 2015. Now that I type that, I fear that tomorrow will be yet another snow day. (Insert shudder here.)
I hope that my daughter has an enjoyable time at the junior high dance. I expect that there will be some good stories as a result, because there usually are, and I look forward to sharing the laughs, but at the same time I fear that she will experience her first heartbreak. I think she'll get through it.
Oh dear God, summer can't get here fast enough. I fear that this winter will be never-ending, because at the moment it feels like that is entirely possible, but if I'm rational, I can picture myself in short sleeves. (Friends in warmer climates - I have not seen green grass for months and the temperature hasn't been above freezing for weeks. I wish I could say I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.) I hope that it will be relaxing.
We are currently planning that my daughter will be far less scheduled than usual. While I hope that will be beneficial for us both, I also fear that the third week of June I'll be rocking in the corner wondering why I didn't sign her up for constructive activities. I kid. Kind of. Seriously, I know this will be good for her and I'm really looking forward to spending some warm lazy days together because I think that the high school years will be more scheduled.
My daughter will become a teenager at the conclusion of the summer. I hope I figure out what to do with this blog when the time comes that I'm no longer technically a parent to a tween (though I would argue that the definition is best served to include middle schoolers, even the 13-year-olds). I'd love to hear your thoughts on how I should handle that transition to teen parent.
I expect that my daughter will have her first social media account now that she may do so, given that most require a user to be 13, and that there will be a lot of conversations surrounding the topic and in outlining our expectations.
Speaking of expectations, I expect that she will use it responsibly, because it will be taken away so fast it will make her head spin if not. I fear that it be harder to navigate than she currently anticipates and that it will take a great deal of my time. I hope that I have done my job helping her recognize the true value of in person relationships and the phone-free time required to nurture and enjoy them.
Four Years Ahead
I plan to be thanking my husband for relieving me of drivers ed duties. (Think positively, right?) I think that she will be fine and safe, and fear that she will not be. I expect to do a lot of communicating with the powers above during her first
few hundred outings behind the wheel.
Five Years Ahead
I admit that I caught my breath as I typed that because I realize that she will be in her final semester of high school and I expect that will be rather focused on having her under my roof while she is focused on her future, which will be elsewhere.
I fear that I will be sad at her impending departure, but I think I will also be holding on to happy memories of what came with planning her future, likely some college visits and some family adventures along the way.
I hope that I'm starting to plan a trip somewhere fun to kick off my days of empty nesting. I hope that I'm still writing, making a living at doing so, and that I'm excited about having more time to focus on my career and exploring a few new interests.
Ten Years Ahead, and More
I expect that I will look back on this blog (not just this one but rather Tween Us as a whole) and laugh. And shake my head. And maybe get a little teary. Because it will all be through the lens of hindsight.
I will know that I was ridiculous about some things, I feared unnecessarily and missed other concerns that will now be obvious, I expect that some posts will seem hopelessly dated and that I will see how much I didn't know about parenting and what was to come. My fingers are crossed that my daughter thinks I respected her privacy. I sincerely hope that I remember the fun of these years, that I continue to feel grateful for this supportive community and that I remember how lucky I was to see my daughter through her tween years.
Prior Post: 9 fun experiences at Epcot for tweens and teens
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