Another holiday, another family get together. Mother Nature was triumphant in all of her glory.
The panoramic breathtaking New York skyline served as a picture perfect backdrop to a splendid day. As I looked around the table I could not contain my pride as I observed the animated and engaged faces of my adult children as they shared the love of their partners with our family.
My sister, an Atlanta transplant, never disappoints as she celebrates the majority of family holidays with us. My beautiful niece, an integral part of our family, was part and parcel of our holiday celebration.
On occasions such as this, I am always amazed to think, how is it possible that the past four decades have flown by, in what seems like, warp speed? After all, it was just yesterday that my children were babies and now my babies are having babies.
The love I feel for my children is indescribable. Yes, I know that most mothers would probably say the same thing but honestly it’s true. As years go by the lives of parents and children become somewhat parallel, more independent, and yet still intersects at points.
Being a spectator in the lives of our adult children is not always easy. At times it may feel like you’re watching a freight train careening down the track and you’re suddenly rendered speechless. Having to remain quiet you hope the conductor is alert enough to sound the alarm signaling danger ahead.
Realizing that sounding an alarm or serving as the town crier is no longer your job is the hardest part of being the parent of grown children. Their choices are just that, their choices. When they do seek your advice, it is a balancing act between offering pearls of wisdom versus providing unsolicited opinions or suggestions. As the roles between parent and child morph into adulthood the biggest challenge for most parents is to understand and accept that at the end of the day, whatever the outcome, their children’s decisions are theirs to make.
As your children seek a mate, partner, or spouse, parents often hold their breath hoping against hope that this new addition is not only a good fit for their child but for the family as well because family dynamics can be tenuous and offsetting even during the best of times.
When your new extended family surpasses all of your expectations then the feelings that come to mind are joy and gratitude.
A loving family is what life is all about. A supportive family is what we hope and pray for. A blessed family makes life an unbelievable gift.