Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We all want our kids to live happily ever after, don't we? Right now, all four of my (grown) children are working hard to achieve four separate but equally critical life goals that are of the utmost importance to them, and I am trying my best to cheer them on from the sidelines without getting in their way. I am not always good at this.
Sometimes a parent cares so much that it becomes hard to respect an adult child's boundaries. I've been stepping over too many of those lately, and I know better. I'm fortunate that my children are unusually kind and understanding when I do this, but that doesn't mean I should take advantage of their good nature.
Parents of grown children must learn to walk a rather fine line if they want to be effective, nurturing, and welcomed supporters. A level of stewardship is and always will be there, but its nature changes with the onset of maturity in a manner that's hard to define because it isn't really set in stone. In fact, it is the fluidity of this evolving arrangement that makes it so confusing, and mistakes do happen.
I hope, when I make a mistake, that my four very competent adult children will feel comfortable telling me about it. Their happily ever afters are up to them, and my job is to cheer them on from the sidelines...unless and until they invite me to step over that line and give them a hand.
I love to help. I'm ready to help. I want to help. But I don't need to help. And I'm going to try just a little bit harder to remember that.