My twenty year old daughter moved out of home recently. She has been talking about it for a year now. My head was ready for this but my heart faltered. I knew the day was coming, expected it to be difficult, was ready for whatever feelings would swamp me, yet one can never fully prepare for how one will actually feel in the moment. It's difficult to explain the angst of letting go. TUG-OF-WAR!
Why are there no parenting books for parenting your young adult? There really should be some kind of book that helps this transition to adult-independence because it really does feel like you're finding your way in the dark. Your young adult wants you to stop worrying about them but they still do things that keep worrying you. They still keep you up at night! They should know by now that questionable decisions are ALWAYS cause for concern. Please stop making them and I will have no need to worry!
Every young adult needs to find their own way, and make their own mistakes. It's just really hard to sit on the sidelines and spectate when parenting has been up until now a contact sport. Sitting on the sidelines is really really hard after you have been in the game for twenty years and when shouting the game plan from the sidelines results in raised eyebrows (carefully manicured ones at that), even the most robust of us tend to wither inside. The raised eyebrow is now focused on you! You quickly learn that your pearls of wisdom are better given as rare gifts. Better to give your gifts of wisdom sparingly as remarkable treasure, than to give too many and see them discarded and left unopened. Better to wait to be asked your opinion than to hand out advice not valued or appreciated. Holding my tongue has become a new sport!
The question is,
mistakes decisions do you let them make and which ones do you challenge?'
So last night (on an entirely different matter) I sent my twenty year old this quote, 'Decisions determine destiny'.
It was one of those moments when I just needed to press in and not hold back. It was a moment where everything that needed to be said could be summed up in just three words - three simple pearls. I think this will be my new mantra!