I know I have a long way to go when it comes to raising kids. With a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old, I can look forward to at least 5-10 more years of in-house parenting. And that’s if they both promise they won’t move into the basement after college/university or refuse to move out in the first place.
In all seriousness, when you first look at your child, and think of what the goal is down the road, it’s pretty simple. You want them to be happy, fulfilled and independent people.
The problem is, if you do a really GOOD job, it can come back and bite you in the butt. Because you’ll really like them and as independent as you’ve made them, you’ll want them around. It’s a given you will LOVE your children, but it’s a wonderful thing to actually LIKE them.
Take for example, Lilly. She is beautiful, kind, whip-smart, and adored. Her parents raised her to be all of these things, and more. Now, she’s about to embark on an amazing journey that is taking her far away from her family and friends. She will have her significant other – Prince Charming, and they will start an exciting new life together. But her parents are torn. How to be happy for her so far away when they’d far prefer to have her close by?
It’s easy to say you want your child to be independent. Doesn’t everyone want their offspring to be everything they themselves want to be? But what if that means they will take their light, and shine somewhere far away from you? Lilly’s Prince Charming has a wonderful opportunity out West. He is young and talented and most certainly will be a huge success with this new posting.
So when we found out PC asked her to move out West with him, there were two thoughts packed into one emotion – Oh-that’s-aweseome-I’m-so-excited-for-her/Oh-shit-she’s-leaving-that-sucks-for-us!
I’m dead serious. One thought. Crammed in my head. I’ve got a very small head.
We will miss her huge smile and her willingness to cuddle Roman, as well as play the 16th consecutive hand of UNO. We are selfish and we miss her already and she only left this morning!!!
But the Golden Rule of parenting, which one learns as one goes along, is that raising a child is not about what YOU want for your CHILD. It’s about you supporting and nurturing that child to find what they need to be in their own life. You don’t get to be selfish as a parent. You can’t force your life plan on your child – at least not if you want them to be happy and save the funds you would otherwise need for therapy.
With this in mind, Lilly’s parents have not only done an amazing job in raising her, which has brought her to a place in her life where she is capable and strong enough to take on this new challenge, but they are giving her the greatest of gifts by supporting her decision, even though their hearts may feel otherwise.
I hope I can be as selfless when the time comes.
Good Luck Lilly!!!!!!
BREAKING NEWS ~ BREAKING NEWS ~ BREAKING NEWS
Lilly called me this morning to tell me she was on the road with Prince Charming. I was touched she thought of us as she headed out (and I could tell her I had already written three-quarters of this entry) but even more thrilled with the news she gave me — THEY ARE ENGAGED!!!! Congratulations to Lilly and Prince Charming. You will have your Happily Ever After!!!