A few months ago John and I were camping with Zach, Becca, Mackenzie, and Macy. I was not feeling well, so when Zach and Becca put the girls to bed in their camper, I also decided to go to bed. John, Zach, and Becca, however, weren’t quite ready to turn in, so they sat outside our camper talking, laughing, and just enjoying each other’s company and the stillness of the night.
As I lay there on the bed listening to them, I can only say that in spite of not feeling well, my heart was literally flowing over with happiness. There was no sweeter sound in the world than the sound of their voices for me to go to sleep to. Why? Because being parents to your children once they are adults can be tricky--even painful, but it can also be one of life’s greatest joys.
Trust me when I say it’s not easy to slam on the brakes when it comes to telling your children what you think is best for them. And it’s not easy to pull back from trying to stop them from making mistakes. As parents we can’t help it. When you’ve loved, nurtured, protected, and cared for your child all those years, it’s just not something you can turn off like a light switch.
BUT on the other hand, there’s very little in life that brings more joy and satisfaction than watching your children become and be adults, and being a part of their lives in this way. Not only do you share the parent/child bond, but you can also share the bonds of friendship and that of being a support system and encourage them as they raise their children (your grandchildren).
Now I know there are a lot of you reading this right now thinking those days are far, far into the future. You’re too busy changing diapers, practicing spelling words, reading “Goodnight Moon” twelve times a day, or spending your days shuffling your kids from one place to another and still getting dinner on the table at a decent hour.
I know—I’ve been there. But trust me when I tell you that no matter where you are at in your parenting journey, three things are going to happen:
- Things are about to change because they’re always changing
- Your children are going to grow up and become their wonderful, independent selves; leaving you with the task of learning to be the parent of an adult while at the same time knowing that in some ways they still need you.
- Making the adjustment won’t be without its share of bumps, bruises, heartaches, AND its share of excitement, joy, and sighs of satisfaction (and relief) for a job well done.
The point I want to make is that it's important to take the time NOW to be ready for that part of your life as a parent. Take the time to get to know your kids. Be involved in their lives. Teach them to become independent thinkers. Teach them the values you want them to have and carry forward to the next generation of your family.
Like I said, the process won’t always be easy or even pleasant, but it will always be worth it as long as you never lose sight of the fact that they are your children and you love them just because they are.
Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.