… mother of a grown-up. I am the mother of a grown-up.
This is a reminder I will need to keep making to myself over the next several days (and – okay – years). My son, 19, has gone on his first long-distance road trip with two friends. They are driving across several states to enjoy snowboarding in Utah.
I had some initial knee-jerk reactions about icy roads and chains but after that I did a pretty good job keeping my mouth shut and my advice to myself as their plans evolved. I confess that at the last minute I did throw a weather map up on a monitor.
My son is smart and quick-witted and has at least an average level of common sense for a 19 yo male. But even if none of that were true, my influence is so very limited nowadays. And that is as it should be. We are in an extended period of his learning to fend for himself and my learning to let him.
Sometimes I am startled by just how wise and insightful he has become. Other times I am taken aback by how deeply green and innocent his perspectives are, for all the superficial street smarts. So far I have had mixed success in keeping my opinions and advice to myself. But I think I am improving.
Interestingly, his twin sister asks me for a lot more advice now than she did a few years ago. The opposite holds true with my son.
For me the most rewarding part of being a parent is getting to know the people they are becoming. I used to live in terror that they would grow up to relegate our relationship to occasional obligation, as I did with my mother; but so far that doesn’t seem to be where we are headed.