Monday, June 15, 2015

When Your Kids Don't Need You Anymore

She was about five when she tied her shoe by herself for the first time. I smiled, all teary, at her and said, "Pretty soon you aren't going to need me anymore."

She gave me a giant hug and said, "But Mommy, I'll always use you!"

I hope it's true. I hope they always, always use me. That way at least I'll feel like they need me for something.

This week I listened proudly as my oldest daughter told me about her job interview with a company that is looking to expand. She excitedly explained how she was the right one for the job. She knows what they need to do to succeed and is confident in her ability to make it happen--all while she's planning a wedding and raising her two-year-old son.

My second daughter drove herself all over the Mid-west like it was no big deal. From Kansas to Oklahoma to Dallas to New Mexico. No big deal. Now she's in LA, where she knows almost no one, training to accomplish her life's dream. No big deal.

My son (my baby) drove himself all over--well, not the Midwest--but far enough for this Mom, anyway. He also decided he'd teach himself to play the guitar. Two weeks and TEN SONGS later, he's already performing for family and friends.

My 17-yr-old flew unaccompanied half-way across the country. Her first tweet from San Francisco informed the world that she was never coming back. She's already chosen her California college. Just last week, she insisted she was attending a Kansas university only 3 hours away. That was enough to kill me. Now it's San Francisco.

No. Big. Deal.

Here's the flip side.

Just this week my oldest daughter just had to call me all excited about this new job opportunity, so she could discuss with me the pros and cons. My second daughter cried in my arms as she mourned the loss of a dear friend. She knew I understood. My son didn't need me to nag him to practice the guitar, but still required some gentle persuasion to do his homework. My senior texted me all jealous that my first Instagram picture was of her brother--not her. ( I also know she's quietly excited that I'm redo-ing her room for her while she's gone--just in case she does decide to come back.)

There is a definite longing for younger days when your young-uns gain their independence. There is a tugging at the heart, a sort-of-happy sadness. It sucks. And it's beautiful.

Watch out all you Moms of Toddlers. There will come a day when they no longer need you. I guess the good news is, they will always use you.

UPDATE: As I write this, I just received a picture from my second daughter of the latest long underarm hair craze because, apparently, she's jumped on this bandwagon. I'm shipping her an assortment of razors and shaving cream first thing tomorrow, along with a sternly worded note to have some self-respect and consideration for the folks around her. I guess maybe sometimes they need us more than they know. If only so we can help them help themselves. Roaring Mom to the rescue once again!!

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