I continue to be surprised and amazed and encouraged and pleased at who our adult kids have become. Since all of our children live out of town and most live out of state, we are with them very infrequently. We trade phone calls and emails but person to person visits are not common. So when we do get together, especially with several of them at once, I find that I’m always learning something new about who they are now that they are not in our shadow or in our backyard anymore.

After several of these visits this summer, I’ve come to a number of conclusions about our relationships that I need to remember in the future.

  • My kids—the five who are married—are the same people they always were, but they are also different because they have married people with different backgrounds and values. And this is good. Very good.
  • My kids are parenting their children in ways similar to our style, but they are also trying new and different approaches. Different is not wrong.
  • They need space/distance from us to continue to become who God wants them to be as they try out vocations, values, and belief systems. This is healthy.
  • They need grace and affirmation and support from us as much as they did when growing up. They do not need us to panic or fear or worry. We can pray more. This is good for us as well as for them.
  • They need a relationship with us, not lectures or even suggestions unless they ask.
  • They need time to learn to grow in their relationships with each other as adults. They need to get to know each other in a new way.

And the learning keeps on happening. And this too is very good. Status quo and having it all figured out leads only to stagnation. Only living, growing things adapt to change and circumstances. As hard as it is at times, I’m grateful that I have to keep learning and growing, for it shows that I’m really alive and well. And I’m grateful I have the privilege of continuing to get to know all my adult kids!