All those parenting books never tell you the one truth that you have to figure out on your own. Parenting never ends. No matter how old your children get, or how many amazing grandchildren they give you, you never stop being their parent.
And it is all okay. We signed up for this gig many many years ago and I wouldn’t trade it for the world but some days my heart is a little more tender than others.
This past Monday we waved good-bye to our youngest and only son. He is heading overseas to a new job and we probably won’t see him for another year. It was time for him to go. He had taken a break from his previous job and stayed with us for a few months and now he is on to new adventures. Still I started missing him the moment he firmed up his travel arrangements.
He is a grown man and has been out on his own for several years and yet I did not see a grown man wave to us one last time as he walked down the jetway. This is what I saw:
At home in a way too quiet house I sought to console myself. My husband ( as Dads tend to be) was more philosophical about it relying on the knowledge that it was time for him to move on. I needed something. So I baked chocolate chip cookies, ate way too many and saved the rest for the grandkids.
I am grateful for the long visit we had, his sense of humor and especially that THIS time I did not need a hazmat suit to enter his room after he left! He left his mark as most adult children do. I will be spending the next couple of months figuring out where he put stuff away in the kitchen. He tried but I am finding things in the oddest places.
I am also grateful that we can Skype, text message or hangout thanks to Google.
And yet this week will be one of continual Thoughtful Thursdays and honoring all my emotions.
Most of all I am grateful that this parenting gig never ends and my children, no matter how old they get, are always with me even when they are far away.
And yes even when I find petrified PB&J’s under the bed along with dirty laundry. Some things never change!!
There will come a day when he finds the same stuff under his son’s bed!
So your assignment this week is to go out and be thoughtful to yourself and give yourself permission to stretch Thoughtful Thursday into a whole week..sometimes you need it. Well that and some warm chocolate chip cookies and a big hug.
Now go out and make it a Thoughtful one!