Thursday, March 10, 2016

Day 10 SOL 16: When They Build a Life

"I think Florida was meant for me because there is fresh orange juice everywhere and it's the best thing I've ever had,"  my youngest daughter texted.

This is one of several texts she's sent this week as she visits Florida over spring break.  It's the first vacation she has planned and paid for herself so she's quite excited.  She goes to a northern school that fights the cold for many months so, to be honest, I'm sure she's quite happy about her current temperatures.  She's been to Disney, driven to the beach, and eaten in some fabulous restaurants.  She is a full-time student and works in a residence hall on campus.  She's worked hard for this vacation, saving money for her adventure.  

With each new text, I smile.  I enjoy seeing my children find their way in this world.  Each one is working their way into careers they love, building new friendships, and discovering new places.  There's something about watching them build their lives that brings me joy.  It's rewarding to see how the experiences they've had are shaping the lives they are creating.  

Having adult children is different.  Exhaustion is replaced with worry.  Safety is replaced by opportunity.  Care is replaced with support.  Games and play are replaced with family dinners and get togethers.  Sometimes it's a bit strange to have a house that is so quiet in the evening.  Sometimes it is strange to not have to race home, cook dinner, and rush right back out the door to transport someone somewhere.  Sometimes it's strange to not know everything about their days.  Sometimes I catch myself missing this or that, but honestly I love this new phase where I'm watching my children begin to build a life.  

Of course I treasure memories of cradling the kids as infants while they slept contentedly in my arms.  There are memories of bedtime stories, family vacations, and dinner conversations that will always be close to my heart.  However, I think I've always been a parent who celebrates the milestones toward independence.  There were the claps of joy as they took their first steps.  The heartwarming moment as each read their first book.  The anticipation of possibility as I sent each one off on their very first day of school.  There were the mixed feelings of opportunity and risk when a driver's license was first issued. There was the joy as each selected their college, and perhaps a tear or two as we settled them into their first dorm.

Life is as it should be.  Each moment is worth holding tightly and noticing its finest detail.  There's something to love about every phase, and right now I'm loving watching my children build a life.  


For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.



7 comments:

  1. Cathy,
    I admire your outlook and ability to love each milestone as it comes. I am striving to live in the moment and appreciate where all we've accomplished to have these strong independent children, and not wihmper when I feel remorseful. You're a great reminder of the natural stages of this thing we call parenting,

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  2. Cathy,
    I admire your outlook and ability to love each milestone as it comes. I am striving to live in the moment and appreciate where all we've accomplished to have these strong independent children, and not wihmper when I feel remorseful. You're a great reminder of the natural stages of this thing we call parenting,

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  3. Thoughtful, encouraging, and sweet reflections. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Oh Cathy - this is exactly what I needed to read right now. One son about to get his full license and the other about to start high school. Most of my friends are sad and scared. I have moments when I think of the past and miss having them young, but mostly I am just so excited for them! I feel guilty that I am so excited. I love who they are becoming, I love spending time with them and I love seeing life through their eyes. Thank you for sharing your point of view. I will hold on to your words: Life is as it should be. and allow myself to feel the joy and excitement.
    Clare

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  5. I so get this and love it! Watching them become the person they want to be, making decisions, working hard, is so exciting!. Celebrate their new chapters! Great slice and beautiful kids! : )

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  6. You have captured it all!! I always thought of my children as butterflies that I had the privilege of helping break out of their cocoons and one day watching them fly away. Oh my, how high you all continue to fly! It is even more joyful for an old grandma to watch my wonderful grandchildren that you have helped to learn to fly!!!

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