I'm in a strange place. My baby turns 22 tomorrow but I am not old. My oldest turned 25 in February but that didn't make me feel old either.
Age is such a funny thing. I know that when I was their ages, I thought that my parents were old. Heck, I thought that anyone over 30 could die from old age at any moment. Now, I don't feel like I am any older than my kids' college friends, which must be mortifying to them.
I remember the birth of my children so clearly. I remember the movement of each of them in my belly, their womb. I recall their first baths, their first steps, all of those great firsts. What I wasn't prepared for are the sad firsts, seconds, thirds...
Mental health has been such a big issue for my children. Autism. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. OCD. These things halt us in our tracks. My children have been given big doses of these and we have spent so much money and time in our quest to help them to overcome the worst aspects of these disorders. We have tried to help them to in every way become independent.
My oldest has graduated from college with multiple degrees and my youngest is currently in college for multiple degrees.
My oldest has a great job and gets to work from home, which is good and bad. It is good because he gets the support he needs, gets to melt down as needed. Plus, he gets the career and the pay. However, he doesn't get the social interaction with his peers. He does go in to the office twice a week for a couple of hours for some of his work, however, there is not really interaction in that trip.
My youngest has to go to campus for some of his classes, which entails driving in traffic, riding a train, riding a bus, and then the same thing on the way home. He gets quite a lot of people interaction with this and he is the one who has the hardest time with people interaction. However, if it is plain social interaction that has nothing to do with school, he won't do it.
When children are little, you can plan playdates with their friends. I think that it may be frowned on as adults, lol. But, I wish that it were a thing sometimes.
It's one of those things. We wish we could fix our children's problems. We wish we could take away all of the negatives, all of the major struggles. However, when it comes down to it, that is how our children grow and learn. It's how we have made it to mid-life. We learned and had struggles. So, for my job as a mother, I feel like I should be here to help them through this hard time. However, it is not my job to take away these learning experiences. That will not help them at all. It's my job to be a shoulder to cry on, pat them on the back for a job well done, give advice when it is sought and generally give encouragement, love and acceptance along their journey.
It is the biggest blessing in my life to have two children. The gift God has given me. The responsibility God has given me. The blessings God has given me. Sure, I hope I am doing it right. I mean, there is no book that tells us how to parent each of our children. They are each so different from another. I even tell my children that I was never a parent before and that I get to practice on them and that I make mistakes. Both my husband and I are very humble about this responsibility. But, my husband and I are sure that the gifts of these children from God makes it a calling and so we take our responsibility very seriously.
You know what? We get these kids forever. They are ours forever. Isn't that amazing?! What a gift!