However, I am finally experiencing the feeling that parents go through when the child they love has officially moved into the next phase of their lives that doesn't include them... I'm missing him. Gulp!
I just wanted to share my parenting moment as my son was packing things on his last day at home. I had asked him to fix a vacuum cleaner plug that had broken off the week before and he wasn't doing it. Hmmm... he knew I'd do "something" about it so I was wondering what the big deal was and why he was procrastinating. Finally, it dawned on me... I had forgotten to teach him how to fix stuff! Being an L&L parent I had made sure to teach him life skills like cooking, budgeting money, doing laundry and car maintenance but, alas, not much in the fix-it realm.
Upon realizing my error I told him I was sorry for missing this opportunity and quickly told him about the amazing "old guys" at Orchard Supply who have enless patience and tons of knowledge for home repairs. Whew! He then easily completed the task of splicing the cord with the part the wonderful OSH guy sold us. Yeah!
My parting thoughts though were... did I do a good job? Did I teach him enough? What else did I miss? As I pondered those worries I realized that, sure enough, he would do well. He knew how to solve problems and recover from mistakes. My teaching was done for that first phase of his life. L&L let me do it with confidence and an open heart. I was able to coach him through his high school years with happiness in my heart knowing that we had a wonderful relationship that would last a lifetime because I was willing to let his life be his. Life wasn't always smooth but I tried as hard as I could to let him make his own mistakes and learn from them.
I wish all of you, no matter the age of your children, to keep in mind the long term goal... not "did my child get all A's" but... "can my child survive the ups and downs of life on their own?", and "can they survive without me?" To get there we have to let them survive without us while they are still living with us.
Thanks for reading! Good to know I can still practice on my younger son. Oh boy!