My youngest son graduates from Kinston High School this week. While this is a momentous occasion in his young life, it’s the end of a long chapter of mine. I have worn many hats over the years but the one that got the most wear was the mother hat. What do all the other parents do when their children transition to adulthood?
I’ve heard the term empty nest, but with four adult children, and four grandchildren, I don’t have the expectation that my house will ever be empty. I do have a loss of purpose. What do other parents do with the time they once spent ensuring their child remained alive through all the perils of the world?
A blatant refusal to think of when my children no longer needed me for their daily care has kept me sheltered from the thoughts and fears of being alone, but reality ripped the blinders off the first time he stepped into that cap and gown. Three of my children have already moved out on their own. I still ask them to send me pictures of their freezers to ensure they have enough food to survive. How else am I supposed to know they are eating?
To say I have a teeny problem with control is an understatement of overwhelming proportions. Were it truly up to me, their needs would be met until the day I drew my last breath. Unfortunately, they stopped caring about how I felt they should be doing things. I often wonder if other parents had the same thoughts and fears. How do you function after being the whole world to little humans who had the audacity to grow up?
My bank account is acutely aware of how much my children still need me. When they are broke, or bored, they will reach out to me to satisfy their immediate needs which usually involves borrowing something of mine they don’t want to pay for. Those moments hardly sustain my need to parent every aspect of their lives.
I don’t do well with change for someone who keeps reinventing themselves. I don’t like having so much time to focus on figuring out who I want to be when I grow up. My final question to all the parents out there who have gone through this is:
Whose idea was it to allow children the freedom to grow up?