Friday, April 30, 2010

Parenting...The Long, Great Ride

Tomorrow’s a big day. T-Bone, the second-oldest in our family constellation, will be turning 19. He’s a great young man whose zest for life can hardly be contained in one human body. He’s extremely athletic, playful, sincere, and deeply devoted to his friendships. Because he’s away at college and it’s getting close to finals, we’ll have to celebrate with him from a distance. I was thinking maybe I’d put on a cheesy birthday sombrero and Skype with him. I’m sure he’ll find that meaningful.

Nat, our youngest, has been invited to some big event for outstanding young writers tomorrow. I've got a feeling that writing is somehow going to be a big part of her college and career path (of course, we've got to navigate through the teen years first). It will be fun to see her interact with authors and other great kid-writers. I usually get teary-eyed at this kind of stuff. I kind of am right now, just blogging about it.

I love getting to watch our kids become adults. Our oldest son, G, is a wonderful young man about to graduate from college and enter the next great chapter in his life, which will be 3,000 miles from home. It’s a crazy and somewhat scary process for parents watching your adult kids go have their own lives. They are their own agents in the world now, but they still need parents to be involved along the way. There’s usually a price-tag attached to that, but even the finances are overshadowed by the magnitude of just letting them grow up. Releasing them into their own independence is....ominous. And from birth, it’s what kids need from their parents.

Mrs. C is a devoted mom with lightning-quick insights about our kids. I’m amazed at how she thinks about things, and she’s always thinking. She continues to remind me that our job as parents is never going to be “over.”

What?! Never?! Can I just take a long bike ride, sit with a strong cup of coffee, and mull this over for a while?


Gary said...

I just commented on a Book of Faith poem that was posted on Facebook with a mother/son subject. The last line was a quote:

“Sometimes you have to hold him close, and sometimes set him free.”

which was another gentle reminder our ongoing parent role.

Jessica said...

I sometimes find (even with young children) I long for the "simpler" days when they were babies. Yes, even the twins. Other days I can't wait until they're grown and out of my house! I hope I can learn to enjoy each moment of their lives as it happens. (My youngest read me his first book yesterday!) Thanks for sharing this! You have great kids and I can only hopeand pray ours turn out that well! (Happy B-day Taylor!)

Kelly Carlisle said...

Gary, you always offer the right insight at the right time. Sometime you'll have to explain that gift to me. Anyway, thanks for that image of the balanced roles parents must have in their kids' lives.

Jessica, you've got it--it's that "in-the-moment" parenting that some people forget about along the way. It keeps you on your toes and on your knees all at the same time! Keep that camera busy. Just keep snapping that shutter, and take time to label the pictures with where/when/how old information!

Thank you both for your constant friendship and inspiration.