It has taken me 4 grown children to realize I grew up alongside them. My fear has always been that I was not adequately equipped to parent. I may have naively assumed my husband and partner would close that gap, which he did. He did that, however, as a father,not a mother.
I have often wondered if I gave them the necessary skills to make it in the world on their own, in their own way, without needing me to scrape them up off the pavement. Small occasions have shown me something went right and a few hairy events have shown me they would be ok. I am less emotionally charged when one of them encounters a problem, than I am for myself, and the advice I offer them is maybe the same advice I want to hear. Ask more questions, seek information , so an informed decision can be strong. I can suggest without fear and I am no longer afraid of their failure. Or mine.
I’m not sure when this happened, but there were a few things that happened along the way that gave way to this realization. My mom died. I met my biological brothers. My birthmother died. My dad, after so many years of shoveling self doubt at me, finally…when he shoveled, I stepped aside and it went into the street. I quit listening to him. Only recently, do I no longer hear his voice echoing in the room. I am (somehow) free to think and decide and dream alongside my kids.
Suddenly, I realized….even though they aren’t perfect. I did well enough.