I’ve made it one of my goals in life to NEVER let a day go by where I don’t learn at least one new thing! (jjb/2014)
From the time I was a young girl, I always knew that I wanted to be a Mother someday. When Motherhood finally arrived, having children in my life was like standing in the middle of my own personal solar system with all the ways they lit up my life! The sun, the moon, and the stars rotated around Mother and Father Earth, known as Juanita and Al. When a Mother loves her role as much as I did (and still do), it can prove itself to be somewhat difficult to step back and recognize when the role of unsolicited guidance, teaching, and supervising is over. For a father, it seems a little easier to let the little birdies fly.
As they say, “Once a Mother, always a Mother”, but most of us don’t realize how complex and multifaceted the “Mother” role is. Ready or not, at some point, we must retire the “Child Rearing Mother” role and move forward to a new facet of the role known as (MAC) Mother of Adult Children. This usually begins evolving at the launch of our child into the world at large and is in constant adjustment forever after. It is part of our role to “let go” and allow our children the gift of space and liberty. They are finally ready to live a full and unique life experience they get to create while using their own personal voice. As newly minted adults, they become busy making their own choices and their own decisions while learning to speak their own truth. This doesn’t mean we, as parents, have to step completely into the shadows. It only means that the time has come for us to step to the side, and transition into the “Sage” role, that place where they know they can return when they need us in any way.
Al and I discovered that when we got busy LIVING our retirement, it simultaneously gave our children the freedom and permission to live their own life as well. Each of them has been interested and happy to hear of our road trips, our theater tickets, our walks, and our exercising. They seem to enjoy hearing of our keen interest in life and most especially our continuing interest in them, our children! I think it is gratifying for them to see that instead of old age being represented by parents that are emotionally needy, they see people with a renewed energy for life. It makes them happy to know that old age might just possibly be a time of life to look forward to. Imagine that!
In America, we live in a youth focused culture which saturates everyone with propaganda that would have us believe that young is better than old! Al and I want to be advocates for an aging society that brings back respect and admiration for the older set of Americans. We are not trying to be young again…..absolutely NOT! We want to show that this stage of life has a value all its own, as good or even better than all the previous stages. We want our family to know that aging is a GIFT…not a CURSE!
We are Grandparents and are PROUD of the fact that we are addressed with the same name our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were. We are called GRANDPA and GRANDMA! You know what? These names do not make us feel old at all! We were so happy to finally become GRAND, we embraced the name given to us with much appreciation.
We have developed a wholesome autonomy with our children which doesn’t mean that the loving interaction is over, rather that the dependency is gone and now we get to move forward as equal partners in a deeply connected friendship within the larger family unit.
What is the one new thing I learned today?
Today, when Al stopped by our son Phillips place for a quick visit, in the course of their conversation, our son told his Dad that he regarded the two of us as two of his closest friends. (Now how is that for one new thing learned?)
Mothering….Fathering….it is QUITE the journey~~ However, if you learn to let go and set your children free of your expectations, they often just travel a huge circle over and over again, enjoying new experiences, living life their way, and keeping us in the loop as they do. NICE! VERY NICE!