As the youngest of three children, I learned fairly early that my parents were people. Before leaving the nest, my parents were already taking trips without me. And as a young adult my parents became “snowbirds” leaving the cold, wet winters in Oregon for the milder, dryer climate of Arizona. And thereby missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday every year. At first I felt abandoned and angry. But that’s when I began to realize my parents world did not revolve around me! That they were people with strengths and weaknesses, with flaws and personal goals, and a love for travelling.
Well now I am on the other end of things. Having five adult children I realize I struggle with seeing them as separate people and responsible for their own goals and happiness. I find myself fretting over their struggles and challenges and wanting desperately to mother them and kiss their boo boos away. I stress over their decisions, their jobs, their partners or lack thereof, their financial shortages. their health, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
I find I don’t want to let go. I want to feel connected, to feel important. What I realize is I’m not communicating that I trust them, that I’m proud of the people they’ve become. I am so blessed with having five beautiful, loving children, who get along with each other and with me and their dad; who are smart and still have normal everyday struggles that they can handle. And if they need my help or advice, I am here for them. But it’s time to recognize they are capable and independent. And it’s time for me to put my worries and expectations in their proper place, into the category of things to pray about. And it’s time to discover the new relationships I can have as one adult to another.