|My mom, my boys, and my bonus daughter|
I've got great kids, and that's probably more due to good luck than anything. Starting out with this mom gig at 19 -- and not a particularly mature 19 -- meant that my parenting philosophy was comprised of my parents' model plus liberal amounts of winging it. There were plenty of challenges, of course, but none of the type that leave lasting scars or insurmountable consequences once you've made your way through them, and some of the rewards for those rough times make it all worthwhile.
|My best Mother's Day gift|
Seeing your children gain perspective is only one of the joys of seeing them grow into adults. Other perks, of course, are reduced financial obligations, gaining another driver on family trips, and really, really enjoying watching them turn into the people they're meant to be. There are surreal moments as well, like watching your son graduate from boot camp or get married and wondering how the hell am I old enough for this to be happening??
And there are bittersweet moments. Like driving Nathan to the airport as he prepares to leave the country for military service. Like reading Kelsea's messages and seeing her baby grow up on Facebook because she's living in Alaska with her husband. Like celebrating Mother's Day with Daniel two days before he and his wife loaded up a moving truck and headed west to Oregon, their new home.
If a parent's job is to give their children wings, I've done that. Though I miss them, I'm also excited for them. What a cool thing to be able to see the world or to be free to move across the country! And I can't be too sad...I'm still got one chick left in the nest; he's at a pretty cool stage right now, and since I know what's coming I'm going to enjoy the heck out of him while I still can.