Saturday, November 21, 2015

Empty Nest Full Heart

No, I'm not quite an empty nester, but I'm so close it scares the tears out of me.

A surprising thing has happened. I find that I am as awkward and fumbly at this stage as a new mom. I'm a baby to the 'parenting adults' stage.. One day I'm giving advice and praying like mad they're ok and the next I'm relishing having more time to myself, and trying not to feel guilty. I cry as much as I did postpartum.

It has dawned on me with horror and with a bit of wisdom gained purely from having lived to see it that I only got the usual time to raise them and now whatever gaps, omissions or glaring mistakes we made as parents will go down in history. It's a wrap. But it's far from over.

I remember the first week of parenting when everything was new and I was in awe of my new baby. I have similar reactions to my new adult children. I am learning things from them. The primary lesson being: THEY ARE NOT ME. They are all refreshingly different from me and from each other. There is something delightful about having adult conversations with your children in which you sometimes hear yourself, but not always. In spite of our faults as parents, they are becoming productive adults who enrich others. I am so proud of them and so excited for the future, their future.

As for me, the future will hold more learning, more understanding of my own parents and grandparents. (At this point in the narrative, my mother smiles.) It is what I hope for them as well.

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