I think that for a long time I thought that parenting meant having babies, raising them through the toddler years and school years, the teenage years and then once they graduated high school, things would change. But you know what? They don't! You never stop being a parent.
Now, I realize that Nick is only 19 and we still have a long life ahead of us but recently he's got me thinking about my role, my JOB as a parent and while being a new parent to a baby was terrifying and hard, being the parent to an "adult" child is even worse.
I moved out when I was 19. Actually, my mom and I had been living with my grandmother and my mom had moved out some time before and moved in with her then-fiance. My dad was remarried and lived about 20 miles away with his new family. I moved out and rented a room in a friend's house so that I could have some freedom.
My parents never really knew my friends. They didn't meet most of the guys I dated and they certainly had no idea what I was doing in the wee-hours of the morning. Thank GOD!
Nick and I are very close; we always have been. Because we homeschooled, I was very involved in his life, with his friends...I knew just about everyone that he knew and my friends all know him. He works right here in town - essentially, there are no secrets. He's moved out but he is two miles up the road.
And I still know WAY more than I want to know. He is a much better, much more morals-minded person than I was at 19. I don't worry about him being wild in "that" way. There are other aspects of his life, his behavior that I do worry about. There are issues that have come about recently that I am struggling with and no matter how many times I have expressed my concern and my discouragement with him, it has fallen on deaf ears.
I often think that my parents had it easier being too involved in their own lives to take much notice of mine. It's hard to remember that we need to love our children unconditionally when they are being somewhat unlovable. It's hard to be supportive of the choices that they make when they are blatantly wrong.
I would give anything to go back to those baby years and walk the floors with a colicky baby than have to deal with this stuff now...
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