I was very encouraged by this quote today. I needed that.
I always try to have a Sunday meal with all three of my adult kids. I look forward to it every week. Although the boys live with me, it feels like I don’t see my daughter nearly often enough and I miss her. The dynamics are always different when we are all together. Sometimes I even feel like a bystander while I watch my kids share and encourage each other. I know I’m not. I am the one who raised them to treat each other that way. I am always part of the conversations, but I see how close they are to each other, and it warms my heart.
But what I was struggling with last night and this morning, is how hard it is to watch your kids flounder in life. The early adult stage of figuring out who you are and what direction to go is so hard. I just want to have answers for them….I want to steer them in the path I want for them….something that seems safe and “normal” and secure.
That’s not who they are. All three of my kids are artsy, creative, push the envelope type of people. They resist cultural “norms” and argue against the safe paths in life.
How ironic that I….who as a young adult thought I had it all figured out….raised these three unconventional thinkers! I was reflecting on how I did everything “right” and “normal” and “safe” as a young person. I expected that doing so would pave an easy path for me in life. Ha! The reality was far from that!
Do I like it that my beautiful baby girl is adding tattoo after tattoo to that perfect body I used to dress in perfect little girl dresses? Was my dream for her to be a world famous tattoo artist who travels the world with her art as her dream for herself is? Nope.
But, this is her path to take and her dreams to realize. She knows how I feel and I do my best to guide her with the wisdom and knowledge I have. But, it’s her journey.
One son dreams of a career in music and the other in film editing. Both have strong views that challenge me and sometimes even upset me on a whole range of topics. Would it be more comfortable for me if they chose conventional, safe careers, and were more on the same page with me on some topics? Yep.
But, that is their journey.
I was feeling some bittersweet nostalgia this morning about getting older. I was thinking about life’s disappointments and how I thought I was sure about so much when I was their age. I was thinking about how much I feel like I don’t know now. And then I came across that quote.
I felt reassured. It’s true. All of my life has been an education. I am integrating that knowledge into every choice I make and everything I do. I try my best to pass that along to my kids. But, like most young adults. …they need to learn for themselves and have their own life lessons. I can’t protect them from that, nor should I. But, I can be there no matter what happens in their lives.
And I will be.