When my kids were little I wanted to see all of the similarities to me and other family members…moles, mannerisms and so much more. Those observations were really fun—welcomed and celebrated.
However, as a parent of young adults I’m acutely aware of how they are differentiating themselves now. It isn’t easy to “parent” their emerging adulthood and separateness, but it’s really quite necessary.
I’m trying to understand their choices and what they represent—freedom, a (hopefully) healthy sense of self and discovering their place in the world. This is really important work for all of us. I feel more compassionate and slightly less pissed off when I access how I felt at sixteen or twenty years old. Sorry Mom and Dad. I had to do what I had to do.
Our kids are trying to understand this brand new adulthood thing and the process is a little clunky (to say the least) for everyone. Young adults that on occasion still need us like they are little kids. Little kids who want the privileges that come with adulthood. And parents who would much rather be snuggled up reading bedtime stories than watching the clock and waiting to hear the car pull in the driveway.
I don’t want to spend a lifetime feeling like there should’ve been one more book read. One more camp. One more trip. One more lesson. One more skill taught. One more ______________ (fill in the blank). If I don’t let go of the ONE MORE(S) they will keep us all from moving forward. I’m pretty sure we all want to keep moving forward.
First, I must acknowledge the loss.
Then I have to let them go and trust our imperfect past.
My family and I are heading to Burke, South Dakota to see my clan this week for our April break. My days will be filled with my family, the Ponca Creek Bull Sale, hopefully a new baby, old friends and some meandering drives on the prairie roads I adore.
My camera is being cleaned so this trip will be all heart and memory. It feels a little weird to me but there’s nothing I can do. I will have my phone however. I may need to borrow a camera at the bull sale and if my niece’s baby does arrive while we are home. I’m really trying to be “in the moment” and not as concerned with getting the shot. It’s a tough habit to break though.
Here are a couple of old photos I layered this morning while my daughter Lucy was packing.
The first image is main street in Burke layered with a prairie sunrise image from my parent’s back porch. Having coffee on the porch with my Mom is always one of my favorite parts of my time at home.
The second image is a country road layered with a sign I saw in the Las Vegas airport years ago. I’m not sure what “burke in the box” is, but I thought it was interesting.
I hope you find yourself “at home” within yourself whatever your life demands of you this week.