I wrote this 3 years ago, and it rings even truer to me today than then. I wanted to share it with you all today. My kids are now 12-22 and I believe more all the time in the power of deep, abiding connection to our children. Our kids need us deeply even as they grow into adulthood. Don’t give up.
“I’m starting to kinda freak out, Mom.”
It was my oldest. He’s nearly 20, and in a short while he’ll be moving across the country for a great adventure. Some of the realities of his plans were starting to seem a little scary to him this morning.
So we grabbed our morning smoothies and sat on the couches in the living room early today and talked about it.
It was going well until he said, “So how do you really feel about all of this, Mom? You don’t really ever say anything about how you really feel.”
Well, what can I say?
When I think of you going all the way to Texas, I know you can do it.
I know you are going to be fine, that you can get a job and manage your life and eat decent food and make decent choices.
I’m happy that you are having a grand adventure because I know life will tend to funnel out those opportunities more and more as the years go by.
I know you will make some mistakes, too, but you’ll be ok.
You’ve got everything you need to spread your wings and fly, which is exactly where you should be as a 20 year old young man.
But when I think of you going all the way to Texas, I know that
-I will miss being able to talk to you and work on projects together in person
-you might end up staying longer than expected, or putting down roots and living far away from us for a long time or forever. This could be a bigger goodbye than just a few months.
-and I think about my little boy that I adored to a level that I didn’t even know was possible before he was placed in my arms. He is the one who brought out the warrior mother in me and changed me forever. He is the one I never slept without touching for years when he was little.
I won’t tell you that the years go by quickly. If anything, having my oldest being a little tyke seems a million miles away from today. It’s like a distant, beautiful dream that makes me cry just because of the overwhelming amount of pure love and joy that is contained in all of it.
Childhood memories often make me cry. I think it’s because it seems like something has been lost. There once was a beautiful, curly-haired, spunky little boy who disappeared because he grew up. It’s bittersweet. Yes, he’s still in there, and I love it when I see glimpses of that same fun little character that was my close buddy for so many years. We have built upon an amazing storehouse of unconditional love, adoring companionship, laughter, memories, great conversations, and much more. I don’t regret a minute of the time I spent lavishing love on any of my kids, and as I am now moving into this stage where they are starting to leave the nest at greater distances and for longer periods of time, I can see even more clearly the value of all the investments I have made as a mother.
You won’t regret it, moms. Your generous, wholehearted love toward your children is what you are building on. It is a strong foundation. Build it up. You can do this.