I am facing a typical parenting dilemma: How to let go and allow your kids to grow up.
Ray and I are the parents of six wonderful, typical kids. We have actually “cut the apron strings” (or, more accurately, “untied” them) twice already, and prepare to do it again.
Our oldest daughter (child #3) graduates from high school this week.
I am in a quandry because my emotions are all over the place. I am excited and sad and proud and melancholy and enthusiastic and wistful.
In some ways, this time is harder than when my sons went to college. Our oldest son attended college about 8 hours away from where we used to live, before our move last summer. He attended two years before serving his mission. [Side note: He is approaching his 11 month milestone. Can you believe it?!] Our second son attends college in the town in which we currently live, so even though he lives in the dorms he is still close. He just had a birthday, and my heart is still trying to handle the tide of time that has moved him from my near-preemie little baby to the young man he is today. My daughter will be attending college about 2 hours away. She is more of a heart-to-heart talker than my sons are, and I am going to miss our talks tremendously. And it is, of course, our current immediate situation. We’ve had a few years to assimilate to our sons being out of the house.
Thus, in many ways, this seems a familiar – though still uncomfortable – place to be. I guess it really doesn’t get any easier the more times you have this experience. Each child has his / her own personality and place in our family dynamic, and the life changes that affect that dynamic are sure to be felt.
I keep reminding myself that untangling the apron strings is a process. It takes time and patience to learn to let go and allow my kids to become the adults they can and want to be. (Which is truly what I want for them, as well.) I tell myself to remember the lessons I have learned over the past four years as my children have embarked on adulthood, expressed in my post Feelings of a Tender Parent just over a year ago.
I guess you can count me as one tender parent who wouldn’t have it any other way. Give me the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears, of raising children – even when it includes learning to untangle my heart and let my children soar into their futures.