Friday, September 23, 2016

Me v3.0

First comes love, then comes marriage,
then comes baby in a baby carriage.

Remember that silly childhood rhyme?  Well, I’m still in love and I’m still married, but I’m done with the baby carriage (except for grandchildren, of course).  Yesterday I settled our youngest child into her dorm room at college.  It was bittersweet.  On the one hand I’m excited for her and the new adventures I know are coming her way.  On the other, it’s always tough to leave a child the first time when they’re heading off into adulthood.  On yet another (hey, I’m a mom – obviously I have more than two hands), as I drove away mixing the “excited for her” emotions with the “leaving my baby” emotions, I also experienced a “Woo-hoo! I’m free!” emotion.

I know parenting doesn’t end when they’re eighteen.  My children range from 18 to almost 35 and I do plenty of parenting!  But it’s a different type of parenting than what we do the first eighteen years.  After children turn eighteen, parenting becomes more of a guiding role.  It isn’t necessary to care for their basic needs or be available for them every minute.  They’re out in the world growing their own lives and, piece by piece, child by child, I have been getting my own life back.

I’m thinking of this as Me v3.0.  V1 was childhood, v2 was adulthood with v2.1 being a focus on professional development, v2.2 was early parenthood, v2.3 experienced parenthood, etc.  Now, I’m ready for a new version of Me.  The adult Me with years of varied experience, but without the responsibility of caring for children on a daily basis.  This isn’t just an extension of v2, it’s all new and it’s all exciting.  It will probably take awhile to download and install the entire new version, but my internal drive is running well and I’m ready.

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