When children become adults they are still your children. This realization that your kids have all grown up is a strange and unsettling phenomena. It is an awakening that takes some getting used to.
There are emotional conflicts with this realisation and they are big ones. There is a sense of pride but there is also a sense of loss as well.
It is as deep as it is profound.
Hope resides there along with Fear. They sit side by side in ravaging and conflicting emotions.
They tear at me now.
It is a tough and sometimes dangerous world out there that has wars and bombs and earthquakes and tsunamis. So there is worry and there is pain. There is always worry and pain in parenting – however there is great joy as well.
There is more joy than anything else.
However there is some sense of acceptance in this realisation as well. It is nestled in amongst all this mix of emotions.
There is reflection as well.
We have all been at this juncture - this becoming an Adult.
It is a Great moment. It is a Big moment.
Even now in my ancient and decrepit state I remember all too well what it was like to feel this all-grown-up emotion when I was my children's age. It was a time of freedom and confidence and greatness.
It was a time of invincibility.
It was Special.
The need to protect your child does not diminish when they become adults - it doesn’t diminish at all. It is instinctive I think to protect them.
At any Cost.
At all Cost.
However there is a letting go of sorts - by us of them and by them of their childhoods. The realization that you won't be quite as close to them anymore is a wistful feeling that is almost an ache. There is a little pain and a lot of angst knowing and accepting that you won't be right beside them any longer - to catch them if they fall. You can only trust now that you taught them to stand strong and to stand up again if they get knocked down.
To keep standing up.
We all get knocked down at times and rising is more noble than falling.
It is more difficult too.
These letting goes are both sad and happy.
It is both winning and losing.
These feelings will ultimately neutralize each other and then you are just left with Hope.
Hope that they can make their own way out there and that everything will be all right.