Back in the dark ages when I had little kids, there wasn’t the internet to go to for parenting advice. You pretty much drew on your own upbringing and either emulated it, or fought against it. I did a bit of both.
By the time Steve and I parted ways in 2002, things were picking up speed as far as the internet goes, but I still found my first post divorce job via the newspaper. Parenting advice was a bit scant there for awhile.
Fast forward 14 years and there is a wealth of information out there. But google “how to parent adult children” and one of the 8 “to do’s” is talk to your children about your death plans. I’m not making this up.
You skip directly from “how to handle my child’s depression”, “how to talk to my teen daughter without it ending in tears”, and “do I ignore the crusty socks in the laundry pile?, to “how to help your children plan for your death”. Seriously.
I’ve always felt it was important to have a life outside of my family. As a child of the 70’s it was pretty much drilled into me. I’ve always had a social life. I’ve always had some form of work. I’ve had relationships after Steve and I split. I have hobbies and interests outside of being a mom. I always thought that meant once my children became adults, I would send them off with the big wings they grew. I’d be happy to see them sail away with their grown up selves and I’d enjoy my adult life. Right? RIGHT?
It’s just not that fucking easy.
With Tay, she’s been away at school. And there was always this deep peace in me. She’s at school. She’s going to college. Something her father and I opted out of. This huge pride and awe and frankly, this very hands off approach. Let her fly. Do her thing. She will reach out when she needs us. It was hard, but I also had two boys left at home who needed a lot of parenting.
And then Chase moved out. WAY sooner than I expected. After a really hard few years. And I was torn between being so very happy for him. And missing him being in my home.
And then he moved across the country. And I’m so damn happy for him and Jo. But my heart aches.
And my missing of Taylor intensified. And every time Harrison is at his dads, I now miss him MORE. It’s been a snowball effect. My kids are all, growing up.
I don’t want to be that mom that makes my adult children feel badly when they don’t call or text or communicate. I want them to go and do and be and live independently and enjoy it. And when they feel like talking to mom, they will reach out. That seems healthy. I think? I don’t know. The internet thinks I need to prepare them for my death instead.
Today I talked to Chase on the phone. And he sent me pictures of the painting he and Jo have been doing in their apartment. And it looks so nice.
And I got off the phone and just cried. I miss his face. I haven’t seen any of my kids in 6 days. And I miss their faces.
I kind of just want to make cookies for my kids and snuggle on the couch and watch Disney movies. And we will. Next time they are all home.
I raised smart and strong and independent children. That’s what I always wanted to do.
I just didn’t know it would be this hard, to let them go.