This year, along with turning 40, my oldest child will graduate from High School. He and I have had numerous conversations, too many to count, about what he will do once he is done. The pressure he puts on himself, as well as the pressure from peers, is very real. Of course I want him to be successful and find his path, but I will not put any more pressure on him.
My kids and I have always had a great relationship. I could probably count on one hand the number of times my son and I had to get a little serious in the conversation. See, here’s the thing- I have always seen my kids as adults. I don’t mean that I expected them to behave like you would expect an adult, or that I gave them responsibilities that an adult would have. I mean I always kept the fact that they would be adults in the forefront of my mind.
I parented with mindfulness before I even knew what that was, or that it was even a thing. Every situation was an opportunity to learn. Actually it was more like, every situation something was learned, and I had to get out of the way so the Universe could do its job to teach it.
Sometimes that felt like I was the best parent ever, like NO one had done it as good as me- ever! I had this shit down. Like when I ask my youngest to do absolutely anything, and she cheerfully accepts the task. Not only does she complete it but she also asks ME if I need anything else done. Yeah, that feels good.
On other days, it felt like I was the biggest schmuck in the world. Like, my kids’ non-existent college fund would obviously go to therapy, and I would die a miserly old woman with no one around me to love. It was not easy but getting out of their way and letting them develop into adults was the foundation of my husband and I’s parenting. In other words- let nature take it’s course, rescuing is only necessary if someone will get hurt, and most of all, they are PEOPLE.
I know my son will choose the path that’s right for him; after all he’s been doing it since he could talk. I’ve always trusted him, now is the time where it all comes together, and we’ll find out if he trusts himself. I can’t wait for the next stage, though the teen years have been among my faves!