I’m going to be a parent until I die.
I realized this not too long ago, when my continuous attempts to stop worrying about my children brought no results. It’s not like I have nothing going on in my life. I do.
But there are days or nights when I suddenly wake up, knowing instinctively I need to make that call to either one of my grown up kids.
A sniffling voice on the other end confirms that I did the right thing by calling.
“Aw mom, how did you know I was sick today?” my adult daughter asks me in a small kiddy voice. (Yes, really, a small kiddy voice.)
My heart melting, I simply say “I’m your mom. I just knew.”
I’m rewarded with a heartfelt “love you mom.”
Then, try as I might, I can’t resist pitching across a quick home remedy. But she brushes off my concern with “I’m ok mom. Don’t worry so much. It’s just a cold.”
This time it’s the adult voice speaking. But she has allowed me a momentary flashback into her childhood and I’m happy. For the moment.
When my daughters grew up and left the house, the city and then the country Oman (in the Middle East) where we still live as expatriates, I thought my duties as a parent had ended. How wrong I was. I now realize I could never stop being a parent even if I tried.
My children and I are now in three different continents, but no matter how far they are, there is always this deep rooted need within me to know they are safe. Then this niggling voice in my head keeps repeating ‘let go, let go, let go’ like an old record stuck on a scratchy groove.
Over the years, I have listened to this voice and conditioned myself to let go, bit by little bit, but I just cannot let go completely.
This need to hold on to them, to worry about their safety and most importantly to always be there for them will always make me a parent – not a perfect parent (I can never be that) but a constantly learning one.
So yes, for me ‘letting go’ has never meant ‘stop caring.’ My nest may be empty but my heart is not. [Read more…]