My daughter is getting ready to head out on her summer vacation, a vacation that her and her 3 BFFs planned without the help of parents – a sign that we have done a real great job of raising our children or that we have lost our minds. They had a few snags along the way and as parents we marveled at how they stepped up and problem solved. I know that I was real proud of how these girls managed to get the logistics looked after.
Someone once said to me “If we raise our children well, we work ourselves out of a job.” I found that quite profound, thought provoking and very true. I cherish my daughter and being a mom has been a rewarding and sometimes trying experience. I have always felt that my role in her life was to help her to grow into an independent adult who could look out for her own needs. This past year, I’ve seen her blossom into an amazing young woman who is willing to try new things and who has established wonderful relationships in her life. She has also become more comfortable speaking out about something that she disagrees with and I see in that the forming of values that will serve her well in life. I enjoy this because in my own generation children were not encouraged to think critically and challenge authority.
I think that like most parents we want our children to make good choices. We may also want to share some of our wisdom with them in the hope that their lives can be a little bit easier than ours was. On that note, every time I try and teach my daughter a lesson through my own experiences, I am humbled. I learned in my Adult Education training that we learn by doing and not by listening and I’ve seen that in my own life and I see it in my daughter. Children may take all that we say as gospel and internalize it (or not) but when they reach a certain age, they really do have the capacity to do it on their own. My daughter will learn now from her own experiences, trials and tribulations.
My advice to her is to take risk but be prepared before she does so. I encourage her to not live a sheltered life because I think that we grow by stepping out of our comfort zones. Get out there and engage in life. There is no end to learning in life so take every opportunity to do so. Remain broad minded and have conversations with people that you might never normally speak with. Be fascinated and curious about everything – that’s living. When you fall down, get up and continue on in life and always remember – that mama is here for you. Nothing you can do can ever break that bond.
To all of you parents out there who see that day coming when the apron strings will need to be cut – remember this. Our children are not put here to keep us company. We give them roots and then give them wings. Hugz
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