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December 16, 2015

No Longer Necessary?

“When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor…They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the
vice president of the United States.”
(Erma Bombeck)

While enjoying my daughter’s brief visit from college this week, I cannot help but get a little wistful. When our kids first enter this world, they need us for everything. It can be very difficult for us to change our position in the family from one who provides to one who guides. It can also feel a bit like grief when we realize we are no longer nearly as necessary.

But of course, that’s the goal of parenting, right? When we realize that our kids can and do function well without us, let’s each celebrate the occasion for a job well done. Instead of holding on and digging in while our children move toward independence, why not walk beside them and celebrate the journey?

Remember, we’re not training our kids to live here; we’re training them to leave here.

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