“Hanging out with your grownup kids is like visiting the best parts of yourself.”
Then I got to thinking about it a little more. Is this a compliment to the kids, or a projection? And what do they think about it?
Note: The picture is me (left) with two of my grownup kids and my parents after a farewell dinner before the “boys” leave for school.
I love hanging out with my grownup kids. They’re each unique individuals, and as different from one another as they are from me and their dad. I see some of our physical traits and other characteristics in each of them, but combined in different ways.
I enjoy my kids’ company and their perspectives on life. I particularly appreciate who they are today because I know where they came from and how far they had to go, especially in the environment they lived in for the last few years before our divorce. And, of course, the adjustments to life after divorce that happened when they were all in their teens.
But “visiting the best parts of yourself?” I don’t know about that.
I see elements of my dreams and desires manifested in each of the kids. And I see far more strength and intelligence than I had at their ages. (And I see some of the potentials for trips, hurts and disappointments – none of which I can change or prevent.)
When someone tells me my kids’ successes must have something to do with me, I cringe. Their accomplishments are their own, not mine. Hopefully I’ve been a support and not an impediment, but I can’t take credit. I guess this quote rubbed me in somewhat the same way — making it about me instead of about them.
Regardless, I like the sentiment – hanging out with your grownup kids is awesome. I get to enjoy the fruits of having been committed to raising them over the years, and to savor the knowledge that they still want to hang out with their mom.
It’s a real blessing!