My kids are scattered; three of them currently out of state, two close enough to see more frequently. The youngest is 19, finishing his first year of college away from home. I think it’s taken me all of the past six months to adjust to the very real fact that they are all, technically, adults. They’ve grown up. They’ve left home.
One thing is certain: Being grown up and leaving doesn’t mean gone. Especially with technology, social media and the incredibly powerful communication tools we have; I think, in some ways, we’re as close now as we were when we were all living under the same roof. I’m grateful for these glimpses into their lives, and I remind myself often that parenting still requires intentionality on my part. Presence and support, without over-functioning. Awareness of struggles and red flags, knowing when a little extra help is required. Availability for phone calls, just to listen sometimes. Taking the time to let them know how the extended family is doing; sharing the details of how I am doing.
Parenting never ends. It’s not the same as when I was constantly in motion, driving to soccer and band and church and rehearsal – but it’s still a very large part of my purpose on earth.
Quite frankly, my kids are amazing. They are talented, brilliant, funny, loving, and kind. They are working out their lives with fear and trembling. They support one another during the tough times; they keep in touch, seek out one another’s opinions, prioritize togetherness when possible. They love their mom and dad and demonstrate that love. They love and respect their stepmom and stepdad, and demonstrate it. They love each other, and they make that known.
They are creatives, each in their own unique way. They all hold varying levels of education in various fields – not all scholastic, but all hard-earned.
I’m just so proud of all of them; I enjoy them so stinking much. They are my favorite people in the universe.
Tonight, one sent a text to our group:
Except for the misspelled word (oh, my heart!), I loved this idea. Within minutes, the Spotify Playlists came flying in, along with comments and affirmations. In short order, we each had dozens of new music ideas. Most of it is stuff I don’t know, but I’ll give it a listen.
I made my list, after extracting a promise that they’d listen to my old-school stuff. Eleven songs that have been part of my life recently (side note: It is impossible to list my favorite songs. Everything is my favorite song, at some point. Music is…amazing, a generous gift to the universe. What we decided on here is the top 11 current faves,)
When I finished my list, I inserted a weird photo and typed these words:
YOUR MOM IS AT LEAST PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EXCELLENT TASTE IN MUSIC. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Learning how to position my identity as “Mom” to these fascinating adults as they (and I) get older will be a never-ending adventure. I intend to embrace it, fully.
You can listen to my playlist here!