Dear Adult child ready to embark on this new chapter in life,
How excited are you?!?! You may be heading to college, or maybe working, or maybe you are in a serious relationship with plans to marry soon, but the possibilities are endless. All the choices in your life are completely and totally up to you now…you’re the adult! Us more seasoned adults remember this time. We remember the excitement for the future. We remember the fear that we’d mess it all up. We remember the pride in choices made all on our own. We even remember that we thought our parents couldn’t possibly understand since they were raised in a different time. Trust me, we remember, and we understand more than you think. As you begin to pull away from your family and start to form your own life apart from us (as we all do eventually), I want to offer some insight from our side.
Your father is so incredibly proud of you. He might not say it or show it well, but he is. He talks to your mother about you after everyone is gone or has gone to sleep. He talks about you with so much love and pride. Please don’t take his lack of external emotion as indifference. He isn’t usually the weepy emotional type (that’s the mom’s job). He will talk about you to his friends and family and he will beam because of his pride. You are his pride.
Your mother, on the other hand, is extremely emotional. Especially if you happen to be the oldest. The thing you need to realize about mothers is, we tend to be the nurturers of the family. So she has spent the last 18 years of her life caring for you. She’s fed you your favorite foods, watch the lamest shows because you like them, read you your favorite book so many times that she probably could have done it with her eyes closed…and she did it all willingly because of her love for you. I’m quite certain she’d do it all over again too (I know I would). She’s tended to your needs lovingly. She cried when you scraped your knee, or when someone broke your heart. She cried at night while she prayed for your safety. She worried that she messed up. You have been her mission for the last 18 years. And she loves you more than you can fathom right now.
So, as you go off to start a new life apart from us, maybe try to understand. It’s hard to let go of someone that needed you for so long. I promise that we are trying. Try to resist the urge to roll your eyes and brush off the hugs and tears. Let us take pictures and show the world. Let us be proud and sad and excited all at the same time. Glean a little wisdom from us sometimes, we have been there…it wasn’t as long ago as you think. We know that you are going to do amazing things in your life. Never doubt that. We are your biggest cheering section in life. Also….shoot your mom a text to let her know you’re alive every once in awhile 😉
*This post is by Lori Shaffer