As of last week, I’m now the proud parent of three adult children. My kids are no longer kids. Okay, they haven’t been kids for quite some time—the last one moved out nearly three years ago. But he is now twenty-one so, at long last, I’m done with the parenting thing. My job is finished!
So why then, do I feel like it isn’t? Why do I still feel responsible for them? Why do I still worry about their well being? And, why do I still feel the need to protect them? To provide for them? After all, they all manage to live quite well on their own. All three have decent jobs and are productive members of society. They no longer need me.
I guess I should be happy about that and, in some ways, I am. I’m proud of them for maturing into responsible adults. Proud of them for being independent. proud of them for being competent. Still, mentally, the parenting mindset persists. And I’m not sure what to do about it. Nothing, I suppose. But, sometimes that’s hard. Because, I am still the dad!
I’m sure that I am not the first parent to experience this. Probably won’t be the last either. I’m certain that most parents go through the same thing; the worry, angst, and feeling responsible for one’s children never goes away. Obviously, being a parent is not a temporary role.
So, I guess I’m not done with the parenting thing after all. Once a parent, always a parent... apparently.