Our Kids are Becoming Adults!

Over the last several weeks, this inner sense of calm and contentment has snuck up on me.  My life is still very much in transition but I am relaxing into the place of not knowing where I am headed.  I have been looking at my children, who are 21 and 18, and feeling an incredible sense of wonder and relief as they move out into the world.  Wonder at the adults they are becoming; relief that they have reached this stage in their lives with their bodies, minds and hearts intact.

A few weeks ago, I visited my son at college.  He is living in an apartment with two friends from school.  They found this place on their own this year.  They have fixed it up really nicely.  They are eating meals together.  They are having fun.  At some level, this is not a big deal; everyone’s child moves through this stage.  But, it struck me that somewhere over the last few years, my son has grown up.  He has learned how to take care of himself.  He has developed a new circle of friends.  He has cultivated a long-term relationship with his girlfriend.  He has a dream about what he wants to do for a living.

Over the last few weeks, I have seen the seeds of the same in my daughter.  She is working as a Teacher’s Assistant this term for an extra course credit at high school.  She is loving it; marking kids’ assignments, assisting kids with their math, and helping them with their reading.  Each day, she comes home with stories about the 9-year olds in her class.    The little girl has grown into a long-limbed young woman.  She has a circle of male and female friends.  She has a part-time job and a dream of becoming a teacher.

Parenting is a tough, and often thankless, job.  At times, it is physically, financially and emotionally exhausting.  There are days when you wonder if they will ever be able to take care of themselves.  There are days when you worry about them succeeding at school; days when you worry about them figuring out what they want to do for a living; days when you worry that they don’t have good friends; and days when you worry that they are too busy having fun with their friends.  And then there are moments when you see them – hugging a friend, talking passionately about some new interest, or smiling at a baby – and you know, deep in your bones, that they are going to be just fine.

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About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Parenting & Family, Relationships, Stages of Life, Writing, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Our Kids are Becoming Adults!

  1. Its good to see one’s family grow up and move independently into their own way of being.. even though at times as Parents we worry as they reach out into life on their own..
    My own children are now well into their 30’s .. Im proud of their achievements, and they know that I am still here for them should they need me.. and often now as a Grandmother of a near two yr old granddaughter I am wanted to baby sit etc ..
    Life will start to unfold for you once again as you relax into your own leisurely pace once again as you find some of your own ME time again…
    Love the photos too :-) Big smiles xx

    • kp says:

      Thanks Sue…I am starting to get a sense of that…and it is reassuring to hear from others that, there is life on the other side of parenting; and that our relationships with our kids are not ending, but transforming. Kim

  2. What a lovely meditation on parenting. My children are younger, but I see in my nearly 16 year old son, the responsible, engaged young man he is becoming. I enjoy his company now more than I ever have. So glad for you that you’re feeling contented at the moment.

    • kp says:

      Thanks…and yes, there are turbulent years in the teens as they find their voices, but it is fun and exciting to see them becoming people with their own interests, talents and opinions. kim

  3. Shari Green says:

    Such a beautiful post, capturing the huge range of emotions we parents go through as our kids transition to adulthood.

    “…relief that they have reached this stage in their lives with their bodies, minds and hearts intact.” — I totally felt an “Amen” trying to burst out when I read this line, LOL. Two of my four kids have fully become adults, and thankfully their bodies, minds and hearts are intact! The next is on the cusp, and the fourth has most his teen years to go yet. This parenting gig is no easy thing, but oh my gosh, full of wonder and joy, too.

    All the best to you and your family….

    • kp says:

      Wow, four kids!! That is one huge commitment. Parenting really is a humbling and wonderful experience. It is funny how the things that matter to us most us as parents, are seldom our children’s accomplishments; it is more the quality of who they are. While I think it is great that my son is a talented artist, it makes my heart sing when I catch him looking at a toddler with a smile on his face. Enjoy!!

  4. It is sobering to realise how little one thought about the parental perspective growing up (or was this just me?). But this sums it all up beautifully…the worry, the love, the relief. Glad you can enjoy your kids as they reach this new stage of adulthood :)

  5. Pingback: Things not to say to our grown kids | After the kids leave

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