I rarely think about how life will be for me (and all of us) when the kids are older, particularly pre-teen time and beyond. I cannot even wrap my head around this concept. In my brain, my kids will always be 7, 3 and 1. I'm not sure if this means I am seizing the moments or simply lacking any trace of imagination.
Because of this, I never think about what the kids' interests might be as they get older. I never pre-emptively worry about them driving or hanging out at the mall or getting tattoos using the money they worked for all summer long.
My wishes are simple. I hope they are kind, polite kids who try their best in school. That they don't get involved in drugs or have to deal with a teenage pregnancy or contract HIV or have abusive relationships.
When I was a teen, there were two HUGE no-nos: Don't date black guys and don't get pregnant (which to my parents meant don't have sex before marriage). All hades would have broken loose if either of those things had come to fruition. I was so insanely boy crazy from about 4 years onward I don't think my parents ever gave any consideration to the possibility that I might be gay, but I'm certain this would have been included in the no-no category.
So where do I stand with my own children?
I don't care who my kids date so long as they are treated with respect (and treat their date with respect). I don't care whether my kids are gay so long as they are comfortable in their own skin. I expect my kids will have sex before marriage, and I hope they use protection against STDs and unplanned pregnancies (but I won't be leaving it up to chance....I intend to have discussions with them about safe sex.)
D very often says stuff like "I'll be glad when the kids are older" because IT IS tiring and aggravating to deal with little whiney, completely helpless little tyrants.
But even with all the exhausting physical and psychological aspects of raising little ones, I think this is the "picnic" part of parenting.
Thinking about them dating or having sex or trying drugs or driving gives me the heebie-jeebies.
I'll take poopy diapers and knowing they are all upstairs sound asleep in their beds, safe from harm.