Posts Tagged ‘children’

Grown-up children

Today we went to two open house parties. We knew Eric and Beth before they had any children, and Peggy and Dwight’s kids came into our lives when Willie and their youngest were not yet in kindergarten. Now all these kids are either fully-launched adults or teetering on the edge. Looking at them and talking to them is sort of like one of those 3D pictures that flips back and forth depending on how you move your head. Isaac as an adult with a job negotiating airline contracts/Isaac as a reckless 6th-grader skateboarding down our hill. Carly as a Princeton engineering student/Carly as a chubby little kid jumping into the pool. I rarely get that flip back and forth with Willie, and it was really fun to see it in our friends’ children.

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Our boy

Our boy came home for Thanksgiving. It was so pleasing to see him. He’s lost that ill-formed look that teenagers tend to have, and he looks and behaves like an adult. Young, but still an adult, and an extremely pleasant and entertaining adult.

After he left, Rick and I talked about how, although we both love our parents, we don’t want to hang around with them. I’m not sure why that is. We have plenty in common with them, and on the whole they don’t bug us or treat us as though we’re 11. And we do enjoy visits with them.

Now Willie has that same point of view. It’s very clear that he loves us dearly, but he’d rather be with his friends. This Thanksgiving he wanted to stay in Chicago to have the big dinner with friends from school. Because we’d already bought the ticket and planned for his trip, we said we’d rather he come home. He did, and it was good. But soon he’ll have vacations where he stays in Chicago, or goes somewhere else. Later he’ll live somewhere else.

We are fine, functioning people without having our child around all the time, and we have a very good child-free life together, but it does make us sad and nostalgic for the times he has needed us to be his parents. Most likely he’ll continue to need us from time to time, but not in the same way as a child at home does.

Parents have to grow up as their children do.

I am very happy about what a good person he turned into. For people who only got one shot at raising a child, I think we lucked out.

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