As of today, I have lived sixty-seven years. I find this fact extremely disturbing. It’s not that I’m disturbed by my age, but I’m disturbed that life isn’t as easy as I thought it would be at this age. When I was a younger woman, I looked at those women who were sixty-plus years believing that their lives were so much easier than mine. I remember thinking how lucky they were to no longer be stuck in the that endless cycle of worrying about their child or children. I’m not referring to that crazy kind of worrying that some parents do with their children where they never let their child out of their sight. I’m referring to that normal worry that comes with raising a child.
Now that I am actually one of those sixty-plus women, I understand just how misguided my beliefs were. I blame my mother and aunts for this. I don’t ever remember them warning me that worrying about your children, even when they are grown with children of their own, never stops AND that the things you worry about seem even bigger than when they were in your care.
The thing is that since your children are not in your care any longer and you know in your heart that they are making the wrong choice, you are powerless to stop them. You can’t put them in timeout. You can’t send them to their room. You can’t take away their favorite TV programs. You can’t take away their phone. You can’t ground them. You can’t take away their car. You can only stand back and watch it happen as you pray that it will turn out differently than you fear it will.
If you are lucky enough to have that relationship with your child where you can actually voice a warning and that child stops their path of destruction because of your warning, or your adult child has never made a wrong choice, then count your blessings because you are among the few and blessed. The rest of us try to pick up the pieces and help our child rebuild, that is if they will let us help. Sometimes we have to sneak in our help or make it look like something other than us helping them. No matter which is the way it goes, you will worry.
So, today I want to give a warning to all of those fine young women who are looking to us older, more mature women thinking that life is easier for us now that our children are grown. My warning is this. There is never a stage in our lives that is free from worrying about our children and that can be a good thing. It means that you love your child and want the best for their lives. It means that God blessed you with a child to love unconditionally for the rest of their lives and with that love will most likely come worry. That’s just going to be a part of the rest of your life!