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Monday, June 11, 2007

Mid-Life Blessings: Adult Children/Friends


Having children is a great joy, hard work, full of fear and terror, consuming energy, time and dollars. Each stage of child-rearing brings its own uniques joys and pains; from the physical trauma of pregnancy and birth to the developing years of potty-training, walking/crashing, bike riding and swimming. When the children are awake you are awake and alert. Only when they sleep do you have your own time. Then come the adolscent years of raging hormones, furious independence, good and bad decision-making, hints of adult-hood overwashed by impusivity and very bad decisions. College years are those times of aching loss of the nest and calls for money and laundry and the car keys when they come home for vacations to see all their friends. Those are times of long phone calls about relationships, vocations, hopes and frustrations.
When we moved out of Minneapolis across the country to California, the single biggest pain for me was the loss of proximity to my kids who were still in town, living on their own, in the own careers and independence. They would stop by for meals or just to say "Hi" in the evenings. I was really enjoying this stage of parenting, and the move wrecked it, or so I thought.
Isaac, our eldest, is packing now for the airport after spending 10 days with "the Geezers" as he calls us (really calls me). We whale-watched, swam, hiked, swam some more, shopped, toured museums and farmers' markets. At night we read together outside by the warmth of the patio chimenera. No heavy issues or big conflicts, just good times as a family. It's time for him to get back into his own productive world and friends and time for us as well. But it's been a sweet reminder of how much fun it is when your children become your friends.

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