I look into the face of a middle aged man and it’s hard to believe that I once taught him to walk, to talk; that I helped him take his first step to independence, when I took away his pacifier.
I gaze into the eyes of a thirty something woman and see the same sparkle I so enjoyed when she was just 3 or 4 or 12. How did she manage to grow up so fast? How could it be that she is now the mother to children of these ages?
And what should our relationship be, now that she is on her own? Some parents seem to have trouble accepting their children as adults. They seem to feel that grown children still require their parents’ advice to solve their problems or choose their friends or their lifestyle. Not so.
Oh it is fun when they ASK for advice. But the time when you have the right to imprint your values on their lives is over. Now it’s their turn to live the way they choose. They have to be allowed to mix your values with their own. They have the right to a life of their choosing, not yours.
What a delight it is though when you wind up being friends with the grown up version of those babies you brought into the world. To respect and admire the adults your children have become. Tell them you’re proud of them and what pleasure you take in knowing their lives are full.
What a blessing to have children who grow into friends.