Here at the peak of summer, it seems I have chatted with several people getting prepared to launch their grown kids off into life as they enter college, join the military, get married, move out on their own - in other words, 'leave the nest' for the first time. Many parents I talk to are really struggling emotionally with their 'baby' growing up and moving on into adult life.
As a mom of 2 grown sons - and as a grown child having left my parents (yes, many years ago, but still) - these recent encounters with parents 'losing' their kids have compelled me to reflect a bit on my own experiences with nest-leaving.
First, my reflections as the Grown Child Flying the Coop - some things I would have wanted my parents to know as I entered my adult life:
1. You taught me stuff I will never forget. And I still want to learn more from you, no matter how old I get.
2. I do still need you. You, my parents, are a key part of my OK-ness as an adult.
3. I also need you to be OK - really OK - now that I'm grown. Don't just tell me you are, but let me see you being OK. I do worry about and care about you, no matter what else becomes priority in my life.
4. You were successful in raising me - don't ever think otherwise.
Then, my thoughts as the Mom of Grown Kids entering their adult life - things I (still) want my sons to know:
1. Your life gives me life. And that's why it's so hard to let you go. I wonder if I will find a new source of energy, of life and breath, with you not around.
2. There was so much I wanted to tell you and teach you. I'm afraid, now that you're out on your own, I won't have any more chances.
3. I'm scared I won't be important to you anymore, now that you're grown. I don't have to be the center of your life now, but I would like to be a key part of it.
Wouldn't it be cool if we all actually said what we feel, out loud to each other? Moms (and dads) would probably still cry when their kids leave home, but at least we would understand each other a whole lot better.
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