I haven’t seen my children since August.
I know what you will say next:
“How old are they?”
“In their 20s”, I’ll answer.
“They are all grown up!”, you’ll say.
And you’ll add:
“They must be independent”.
You may also add some racial stereotyping here:
“Of course, you are Greek. Greek mothers, Italian mothers, Mediterranean people, you spoil your children”.
If you have any European culture, you’ll have images of Sophia Loren popping in your head, in some black and white or Technicolor Italian film. Mothers in nightgowns and hair rollers, if you are Greek. “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” kind of thing.
It is true. Our children don’t need us to feed them and to cuddle them, I know that. So don’t give me or yourself that sort of advice. Because let me ask you:
Who are you kidding?
Do you have kids of your own? Kids that you love?
If so, you wouldn’t use these truisms to comfort me. Commonplace won’t do it. I won’t use them to comfort you, either, if you are missing your children.
Because the truth is, we miss our children. And if we have done any reasonably good parenting, they miss us, too.
So forget all this independent parenting crap, and look the truth in the eye:
- You miss your children more than they do.
- You’d give half of your work’s success to have some more time spent with them.
- You’d rather had worked on your children more than your PhD.
Choose you did. But are you happy with your choices?
What stops you from choosing again, choose differently, make a fresh start?
It’s not over till it’s over.
So while we work on getting a life after they leave the nest, we can work together on creating a healthy adult relationship with the people we shall know more intimately of all in our lives; Our own flesh and blood, our children, ourselves.