Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Kids are Alright

I don't write about my kids much. Not because they're not interesting, it's because they don't like it when I talk about them. It's a funny habit that parents fall into. When they're born, they become the center of your world. But they grow up and into themselves. I remember my friend Lilyan asking one day, "How old do kids have to be before their moms stop talking about them in front of them, like they're not even there." It was a wake up call. Still I persisted, and over time, my kids rebelled. Mom, you're not telling it right! So however proud and chatty mom that I am, I've had to take a step back. They don't read this blog, but it's still out of respect that I don't write about them. For the most part.

But I felt like it was a time for a check in after the Taking Flight post. Some of you might be wondering, so? So, it's been pretty great. Amazing to see the 19-year-old slide smoothly into her own life. The relationship going strong and steady, surprisingly still free of the jagged drama so many experience. They're having fun together, they're happy to hang with us, they're moving ahead in multiple directions in their own lives. Dreaming of where next, what skills to develop along the way, how to keep life interesting. We had dinner together last night with a couple of other friends (and not for the first time, actually the third where I actively invited some of my friends closer to their age, who I thought they might enjoy.) And it was lovely. It's not just that I get a kick out of who my daughter is. I get a kick out of how easily we can hang together. Each clearly delineated. That's not always the case with parents and kids. That's what the whole separation process is about. And now that I'm on the other side, I get it. It's a tremendous relief in both directions. (I can't remember if I've mentioned it before best the very best book on the subject that I've ever come across is, Get Out Of My life But Could You Drive Me & Cherly to the Mall, by Anthony E. Wolf. Short, funny, dead-on, extremely useful.)

It's great on its own but of course, having exposed my family to someone else's creative narrative, and taken a fair amount of shit for our parenting because of it (see Netflix user comments for a quick immersion), I can't help but feel proud, relief, and how very off the director and finger pointers were. Yes it got messy along the way, but it was worth it. The process had a real purpose on both sides.

1 comment:

Joan said...

"Take me to the Mall" was my bible for tackling my boys as adolescents. I have loaned it out often--usually after someone asks me how we managed to raise such nice kids.