When my children were little, I really did want to be a guardian angel following them everywhere they went. I can remember how much I would actually ache when I’d have to be away from the three of them when they were tiny—even if it was just for one over night. Somewhere around the time my kids hit adolescence, I started to feel a bit differently. While I definitely still worry and fuss about them when I don’t know what they are up to, I don’t suppose I want to actually SEE and KNOW everything that they do now!
I think it was about when my kids were sliding into middle school that I was out at a performing arts event and there was a pack of kids there who were just the same age as my kids. As I watched them jostle and pose and act squirrely, I couldn’t help but think of my own children: did I really want to witness such behavior? Well, no, I didn’t. And, now that my kids are even older, and certainly are building independent lives, I know that they act differently when they are home with me, than they do when they are at school, with friends, or with their grandparents. Fortunately, the reports I get are usually pretty good, but I don’t imagine it would be good for any of us if I was still hovering over their shoulders or off in the shadows everywhere they went!
So, I have to admit that I am no longer the mother I used to be—but they are not longer the helpless little tots that they once were either. We are in a dance of separation. I still get to fuss and worry and hope for the best, but I don’t really want to be watching over them everywhere any more—I am sure there are some things that a mother just shouldn’t see!