Tonight I received a phone call from one of my dearest friends who is out of the country right now traveling. He said he was thinking about me and my husband today because he realized I was probably saddened with my kids leaving off to college and he just wanted me to know he was thinking of us. First I have to say it is AWESOME to have friends like him in life! He reminded me how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life and how grateful I am for that. Second I have to share something he said to me in our conversation because it was such an amazing thought that he shared and it was such a powerful reminder for me as well, so I knew I needed to share it with all of you who might need the same reminder that I did today.
As we talked about my kids leaving home he reminded me that them being on their own is a huge growing experience for them that they need to go through to become the best adults they can be, which of course I agree with even though its super hard to let them go… But then he said something so amazing that I had to grab a pen and write it down. He said “When I look back at my life I am so grateful for all the things my parents DIDN’T DO for me.” WOW! I had never thought of it in the way that he said it and his words hit me hard because it is SO TRUE! When I look back at my own life and my years of becoming an adult, if my parents had stepped in and handled things for me I would never have learned how to take care of myself, how to take accountability for my mistakes, how to financially support myself, how to study and learn and be accountable in my schooling, how to be responsible in my jobs and later my career…the fact that my parents didn’t do everything for me is what taught me to become the person I have and to accomplish everything I have been able to.
And when I look at my own two children and the amazing young adults they have become I know that much of that comes from the fact that they had great responsibility placed on their shoulders growing up because I was a single working mom and they had to step up and help me a ton around the house and they had to handle their schoolwork all on their own because I wasn’t there in the afternoons to help them. It was those responsibilities that helped them grow into the great people they are today.
My friend’s words came at a perfect time in my life tonight as I am at that point of having to stand back and allow my kids to go through the struggle of figuring out their education, learning to balance their time effectively so they can handle school and personal life and work, and as they start to select future careers. As mom’s we tend to want to jump in and make life easier for our kids, but the smartest thing we can do is write my friend’s quote down on our wall to remind us daily that if we truly want what is best for our kids we need to step back a little so they can someday be grateful for all the things their parents DIDN’T DO for them 🙂
Have a great day everyone!