By: Carey Snide
If I could go back in time and give one piece of advice to my 21-year-old self, I would say: let go. I would tell her to let go of all the pain of her past so it does not rob her of right now. I would say, “let go of your expectations, something magnificent is coming, I promise.” I would challenge her to let go of her fears of rejection, her anxiety about other people judging her, stop worrying that every mistake she makes will ruin her baby. I would tell her to let go of her death grip on him and trust that he is growing into a wonderful man. Then I would tell her to get ready for a wild, emotional ride, that will be hard and wonderful.
My oldest is graduating high school in a few months and I am finding myself remembering what it was like to be at that stage myself. I was so excited to finally be done with high school, to finally be able to start my life. I honestly never thought once about what my parents could be thinking or feeling, all I knew was that I was ready to be an adult. Or at least I thought I was. What I do know, is that my parents trusted me to make good choices, trusted that I would find my path, and did not spend energy hounding me to pick my future. Instead, they just celebrated with me and let me cry when I was feeling lost. I want my son to look back on this time with similar memories of being trusted and of having a soft place to land if he needs it. But letting go of all my fears, anxieties, and control is SOOOO hard.
Also, I am sad that this season of life with him is changing. He already is working, doing school work, or spending time with friends so often that we see each other less and less each week. I cried the other day, I tried really hard not to but I did, in the coffee shop after church. I was telling him how proud of him I am and how I miss him. I didn’t full-on weep, but tears definitely formed. I told him how excited I am for his next steps, for him to continue to grow and develop but just sad I do not get to spend as much time with him, “but this is the natural progression of things and I know that,” as I held back the tears. Later that day, I walked into the kitchen and he was sitting at our island doing some homework, he looked up and signed, “I love you,” then went back to his work.
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