I will never forget the three most special and blessed days that were given to me. Those days were the birth days of my daughter and two sons. My children were given to me as totally dependent infants to feed, clothe, bathe, teach, and most importantly love and make them feel special. My parental goal was to raise them to one day be independent enough to go out on their own and be responsible, loving adults.
I enjoyed every stage of their lives, but I admit it got harder for me as they got older. They were pulling out the scissors to begin cutting the apron strings. Each snip was hard to accept. Often times for me as independent as I wanted my children to be, it was difficult to watch them make their own choices. But if that was my goal and that goal was met, why is it so difficult to let them be independent? I feel my mom and dad looking down on me from heaven and saying to me, “Do you understand now why we had a hard time staying quiet?” Perhaps in another thirty years my children will understand too.
We made wonderful memories together when they were little at home and on day adventures. Life was a bit simpler. When they were little, I could corral them into the home, close the doors and feel safe from the outside. It is impossible to do that now. But I need to accept that they are adults and trust that I trained them well to handle difficult times on their own.
They are outstanding adults that always try to do well and are willing to heed my advice in some matters. I am most thankful that all three have followed my highest goal for all to be college graduates. I have always felt that the choice I made in my life not to complete college changed my path drastically and led me down a road with more obstacles. I am proud to say my daughter graduated in 2009, one son graduated yesterday and my other son will graduate in December. They will all be Purdue University alumni.
Now that the final strings to the apron have been snipped, it’s my turn to become independent, sit back and watch them travel their paths. However, when they were little I often read to them Robert Munsch’s book,”Love You Forever.” At every stage in the mother and son’s life the mother repeated: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be” Ditto for me! And remember… the door is always open!
If you have already experienced these times of transition between parents and children, now is the time to grab paper and pen or open your laptop and start Keeping Your Memories of your experience for future generations to read your advice on the best and/or worst ways to handle this transition starting with the following questions:
- What was the best advice given to you to raise your child(ren)?
- What advice do you give on raising children and letting go as they get older?
- What did you enjoy doing with your child(ren)?
- What was your proudest moment of your child(ren)?
- What is the one thing you most want people to remember about your child(ren)?