Wow today is my oldest child’s 30th birthday, I have to tell you I am feeling a bit old with a nine year old taking up my routine daily responsibilities. It seems like it was only yesterday when my son Stephen was born.
The question is how do you let go of your children when they are no longer children anymore, but young adults? It has been hard on me because being a single mom, I always worried about my kids. With my oldest Stephen-he was always sweet and quiet and I was afraid someone would kidnap him on the way home from school. With my middle child-Ryan: he was always the outgoing fun child who would talk to anyone and I would always find myself saying “son, please don’t talk to strangers” to which he would reply “he’s not strange” or “I asked him his name it is David so I know him” or the best one, “ Mom this is David-he’s single too”. Argh, I was always afraid he would be taken just because he was so happy go lucky that he would just think it was an adventure. And now there is my nine year old little girl. I can’t even begin to tell you what I am afraid of in this high tech world -things that were never a concern when my boys were little in the 80’s.
But now my son is 30. What advice would I give myself to myself when I was thirty? Well the first thing I would say is educate yourself as much as possible while you are young and the world is changing so quickly.
The second is start planning for your retirement now, even if it’s only $50.00 a paycheck. It will add up quickly and you won’t be worried about how you are going to take care of yourself or loved ones in the future. I see that young people think they will never get old, just as I did one day and now I am struggling to build a retirement account.
The last thing I would say is enjoy yourself! Take this time to do the things you want to do. Save up and take that vacation that you always dreamed of. There is no better time than now. There will come a time when you have responsibilities and other priorities that will take place of the things you once dreamed of so do them now when you are still young and you have the opportunity to do them.
It’s hard to believe that the children you have loved and guided through the years are now independent people that are fully capable of making up their own minds. It’s hard not to see them as the five year old little boys that ran through the house with mud on their feet from playing outside. Time flies fast -so my advice for people with small children is to cherish every moment you have because before you know it, they will be grown.
I found a great application through church recently. It is called “Legacy Marbles”. You input information about your child’ birthday and it gently reminds you how much time you have between now you’re your child’s graduation. I have 403 weeks before my youngest graduates high school. That might sound like a lot to a new parent, but for us seasoned parents, we know that it goes quickly and will be gone before the blink of an eye.
It has been difficult letting go, but I always let my children know that no matter what I am always here-just a phone call away. There is nothing that they can’t tell me, I have no judgement only love and if they ask, I will give advice from my life story and hope they don’t make the same mistakes. We can only pray and wish the best for our children.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.