My adult daughter was just home for three weeks in August before starting grad school in NYC. It was heaven for me. I relished every minute and spent too much time dreading the end of her stay. I’ve often thought, isn’t it crazy that we spend so many years in the trenches of parenting—and let me tell you she was not an easy child, those trenches were deep. She gave me a run for my money for soooo many years! But the learning I gained from parenting her—finding out what she needed and balancing it with what I needed, listening to her instead of reacting to her, allowing and trusting her to find her own way—has led to a very close, lovely adult relationship. It usually takes until kids are in their 20s before that kind of a relationship develops. Remember their brains aren’t fully developed until approx. 25! Anyway, if you really stick with your parenting, learning and growing with your child all along the way, finding out what their agenda is all about instead of only enforcing your agenda, you will raise children you love to live with (hmmm, sounds familiar – oh, yeah, that’s the subtitle of my second book!). And when you do, the irony is, they leave. They go off and find their own life, satisfy their needs in other ways than running to you for help and money. They actually grow into capable young adults who want to succeed on their own. It will slowly dawn on you that they have more knowledge now than you do. So here they are independent, strong, capable—all the things you wanted for them. The only problem is they don’t need you anymore. My children are now 32 and 28. I have often felt like a beloved old horse put out to pasture!
The Irony of Parenting