Parent of a Legal Adult

Happy birthday
© MegaJamesStudios

Today is The Kid’s 18th birthday and this is exactly how he would look if someone did this to him! 

WE MADE IT! It’s been a very long and short 18 years.

When he first came into the world, I was going to be an unmarried version of June Cleaver. Yes, I know that’s an oxymoron, BUT I had it all figured out. He would never have frozen meals (even though at the time I didn’t know how to cook), I would be at every school function, keep every piece of art and be available all the time no matter what.

Then I had a reality check and realized:

  • Frozen pizza is cheap and delicious
  • Dresses seem to attract baby barf, which in turns detracts available husbands
  • My kid had a personality and it was more like his dad’s than mine.
  • Partying would be put on hold until either The Kid got older or I made money to pay a good babysitter
  • I’m not aspiring to get Mommy of The Day/Week/Month/Year/Decade/Century award
  • I can only love The Kid the way I know how and is natural to me

Looking back, those last two were the happiest epiphanies I had as a mother. I think I always knew them, but with all the chatter about what being a great parent entails, sometimes I found myself pretending to be a parent I’m not. Now that the kids are older though, especially as The Kid starts adulthood, I’ve narrowed down adult mothering to this:

  • I’m a parental consultant not a Maternal Executive Officer
  • He’ll encounter brick walls, but I gave him a helmet… hope he puts it on
  • I don’t do bail or jail and made it clear since age 7
  • Life after kids is going to AWESOME because I’m still young
  • Keep being honest and share a six-pack of Angry Orchard every now and then.

As I look forward to his graduation and his adult life, I realize that although I’m about as far from June Cleaver as they come, my kid turned out okay and I’m ready to let him live his life on his own terms. I still have plenty of living of my own to do and I don’t have the time or energy to dictate his life while I live mine.


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