“It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To…..”

I have a birthday today. Over 150 friends have wished me well on on Facebook,

I’ve had text messages from my two daughters, cards from my  husband,

cousins and my mother-in-law and some friends,

and a couple of gifts from girlfriends.

So why have I been crying today?

Well, alright, I’ve “grown up”.

Other parents who’ve recently sent their last child off to college or out of the house might know what I mean

I’ve seen this happen to women acquaintances ever since I was in my 20s — when their children leave home, relationships in the family change. That parental role you finally grew into is one you are supposed to “let go of” somehow — it becomes a role that’s undefined and unknown for awhile.

This is my year to feel the entire impact of these changes in our home.  One daughter finished college and got married, and the other graduated high school and moved into her freshman dorm in college. If I have opinions about fashion, purchases or plans, I’m usually dismissed as being clueless (kind of like “round two” of the pre-teen  years).  If I inquire about the details of managing our freshman daughter’s student life, I’m given a noncommital answer.  I really am supposed to be available to hand over money, transport, and then once in awhile say “that’s great, honey!” and “I love you!”   I was not prepared to have such an unreciprocal relationship with my children at this point in life.

I know it will get better.  This is the transition phase, and we are just figuring out how to be adult children and adult parents relatiing to one another.  My prayer is that they will have patience with me, and I will have patience with them.  And that we will remember…. we are still growing as a family.

I wonder what next year’s birthday will be like?

Photo ©ASMcClain