Being a parent is the scariest job in the world. I left the corporate world 13 years ago to be a "stay at home mom". Little did I know that managing a department of eight adults would be a snap compared to parenting four children. Those two little kids I came home to care for are now 19 and 17, and we have added two more.
I laugh now when new moms say they will stay home with the kids until they go to school and then go back to work. I cannot even imagine sitting at a job all day worrying about how my school-aged kids are doing in this world. Bandaids do not heal the wounds of teenagers. They need daily guidance. They need you to be at home when they come home from school. You need to see so much of your teenagers that you know in an instant when something is not right that requires you to push until you find out what it is. I can tell within seconds of when my teenagers walk in the back door whether something is wrong. I wouldn't know that if I wasn't here. Dawson's friends all come to our house to hang out in the afternoons and on the weekends. Why? Because we are here and we have taken an interest in them as though they were our own kids. They know we have a safe place for them to be teenage boys.
Every decision I have made in the past 13 years has haunted me as to whether it has been the right one for my kids. Of course they haven't all been. I have been learning this parenting thing right along with them. As they have approached the ages where they are ready to make the decisions about what they will do with their futures, I have agonized over whether I have taught them enough, guided them enough, prepared them enough.
At some point you have to just let them start to make their own decisions and trust that you have done all that you can. I think I have. I have loved them with everything I have attempting to make every decision with their best interest at heart. Rick and I have sacrificed so much for their happiness and their well-being, and we just have to trust that it has all been enough.
Kyndal is over half way through with her cosmetology education. In just a few short months she will be in a salon building her clientele and moving forward with her career. Her and Collin have been together for over two years and they will, no doubt, get married and have children in the not-so-far-off future. I am so proud of her. I hear her talk about her plans and she knows what she wants and what she needs to do to get there. Of course I still worry about her every single day. But, I trust her and I know that she will do fine.
I look at these two little kids who are all grown up now and I think, "We did it!" We have been successful. These kids are making smart plans to do the things they know they will enjoy, are thinking along the lines of contentment instead of "making it big", and will likely marry their high school sweethearts. They are doing it right.
I am so blessed and so happy for my kids. Their futures look bright and I am thrilled for them and excited to see their lives unfold. (Almost) two down and two to go.