Change is coming...
I feel like I have been either on a plane or driving to some graduation, bridal, baby or some kind of party these last few months and it got me thinking of the changes we go through as one chapter of our life closes and another opens. I have gone through 26 years of marriage, both my children graduating from college, one daughter getting married and now I am watching some of my friends saying goodbye to their children as they head to college; or celebrating and watching their child about to become a parent themselves. We are entering a new chapter of our lives when we are becoming "confidants" and putting away our "mommy" hats. That's not to say you still aren't their mom in those really hard times, but it's time to let them decide those grown up decisions by themselves. This is a necessary evil if they have moved far away and they can't run home every time something happens. However, if your child stays local or even decides to stay home and go to school locally, you need to force yourself to let them make their own decisions (and their own beds!!) It's a transition that is important for them and for you. That next step into adulthood can't happen if you never want them to be unhappy or sad or frustrated at times. I see a trend with parents now where the children who are getting ready to turn 18 haven't ever been by themselves, know how to drive a car, or are so afraid of doing something as simple as making a dentist appointment, that they cry until their parent does it for them.
I love seeing families that are loving and close, but I fear for the adult child who can't maneuver through the world. We are ALL meant to change and grow during each season of our lives! That means you too. The only way to make your child grow into a thriving adult is to show them the confidence and believe in them in a way that encourages them to take chances. Do that thing that sometimes scares you (like being alone) and knowing that you can survive! It is similar to when they were babies and you had to teach them to comfort themselves back to sleep, or walk or talk! All new chapters in their lives, and this new chapter will be just as rewarding!
As I have watched my girls grow into beautiful young women and my oldest now a bride, I realize that my role is to wait for them to need me. I don't need to be intruding in their lives every day, unless of course they need me for a specific reason; like asking for my help with decorating a new apartment or helping to organize something. It is also rewarding in that once they reach their 20's you can actually now be a friend to them! That is the fun part! They will have a new found respect for you and the things they took for granted when they were home and now they have to do those things on their own. It's not a time when you break away and think that they won't need you anymore, just the opposite, they will be calling for advice, recipes, problem solving, etc. and the conversations will be deeper as will the love.
Change is hard, but change is necessary so this next generation can be our bright future and the promise of good things to come~
Congratulations class of 2016!