My mother always told me I'd always be her baby, no matter how old I am. As a teenager, I used to roll my eyes and figured it was just her excuse for being an overprotective mom. I never really understood what she meant, until I had grown children of my own.
Now, I am forever balancing on that very fine line of what it means to be a mom to adult children. On one side of that wobbly tightrope is my daughter and son, still children in my eyes, and still needing their mom to take care of them. On the other side, are my adult daughter and son, independently finding their way as responsible adults. I walk that line, always unbalanced, and often falling to the wrong side.
Where is the proper mix of being there when I'm needed, yet letting them find their own way? It's a question for which I may never find the answer.
Over the last couple of days, I've tiptoed gingerly over that tightrope, while I've helped my daughter move from Philadelphia to Boston. But the details of this wonderful journey, I'll save for another blog entry!
I still remember the morning we brought Andrea home from the hospital. I carried her into the new yellow gingham nursery her dad and I had prepared, and laid her on her changing table to change her first diaper at home.
I watched her excitedly kick her tiny legs as she looked around at all the bright colors in the room. At that moment, a thought overwhelmed me: Taking care of my child, it's FOREVER. It won't stop when she's eighteen and leaves home. It's FOREVER.
It's true, and I felt the very same feeling when we brought Adam home, though at least then, it was not such a surprise.
I may always search for just the right parenting equilibrium, but I guess I can at least give myself some credit for being so insightful as a young mom!