I woke up on Saturday to a somewhat quieter house than normal. Only my youngest was home, and I had the brief realization that in another couple years, this—this quiet, this [relative] stillness—would be the norm in my house. When I went downstairs to the kitchen, I found W finishing up breakfast, dressed in khakis and a t-shirt, the beginnings of an outfit chosen for the day’s job interview.
Now, I am good at telling myself I am prepared for this whole growing up thing. After all, I have already been through this with my oldest child. He graduated from high school, left for college, and last week, I dropped him off at school for his second semester. He is doing great, making his way in the world. He is growing up and becoming an amazing adult—and I couldn’t be prouder.
Perhaps I’m not ready after all. It was one thing when my oldest was making all of these successful steps out into the grown-up world. But my youngest? I never said they could ALL grow up….
It’s times like this that reality hits. These children were only mine for a brief moment in time. That was what I signed on for, though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time. As their mom, I was responsible for getting them to the point of launch—raising them into independent (or… semi-independent) young people who are capable of venturing into the world, making good decisions, and becoming increasingly self-sufficient and integrated into society.
I have done that, and I will continue to do that. I will support them through their growth, their challenges, their stumbles (and falls), and their u-turns and redirects. I will be here for them in whatever they need as they gain exposure to the world and establish a foothold.
As their mother, I have been here for them when they’ve needed me, and it is my goal to be here as long as I can. They will continue to need me, but my role changes as they change. And I’m beginning to understand that more and more, I am just along for the ride.
I may not be ready, but my kids… they are well on their way, taking on increasing responsibility. I probably wasn’t ready for many of their other milestones either, but that didn’t stop them. So like it or not, I will step back, let them go, and enjoy the ride as I see what the future has in store!