As parents, we watch our children go through many transitions as they progress from childhood to being adults. We see them emerge as little bundles, unable to do anything for themselves, to those first toddling steps, to that first tear-filled day at kindergarten (our tears, not theirs), to graduations, to marriages, to children of their own.
Transitions are never easy, not for the child or the parent. The child needs to adjust to new roles and responsibilities, new goals, new hopes and dreams. As do the parents, but we need to do even more. We have to adjust to our changing role in our children’s lives. We are not needed in the same way. Our little babies are able to think and make decisions for themselves. Decisions that we may even agree with! But even if we don’t, we need to accept those decisions.
However, there is another issue that the parents also have to deal with: as our children get older, it becomes annoyingly obvious that we are also aging. We can no longer pretend we are in our 20’s when our son is graduating college and is well over 6 feet tall. Getting older, and facing the idea of dying one day are scary thoughts. We struggle or just down right ignore these concepts.
One way that some people deal with these fears is by not allowing their children to grow up. We keep them dependant on us. We do not allow them to make decisions. We do not encourage their successes; in fact, we discourage them. This does not alter the reality of our getting older and does not help our children.
All of life is an adventure. We have no right to stop someone else’s adventure, nor do we want to deny our own. Enjoy watching your children soar. Celebrate the wonder of your life. Enjoy the journey.