I can still remember the excitement I felt when I heard the school bell ring across the street. It was time to pick my daughters up from school. Hearing about their day, planning our evening and just having them with me again truly was the highlight of my day. It still is, in spite of the fact they are 18 and 19!
The sound of their voices as they rattled off stories about the other kids, the teachers, what they learned and the onslaught of questions about the evening to come gave me the daily validation that I was their mother. It was the greatest joy in my day.
Talking came easily in our home. In spite of being a single mom with a father who chose not to be in the picture for the most part, we had very little drama. My girls and I learned quickly to focus on the love, the joy and the goals of each day together.
Now, as they are newly adults I have noticed an amazing phenomenon. I always knew they loved me. As the years have passed I now see signs of true pride and it is heartwarming. It gives me a sense that I have done something right along the way. I also had divine intervention and a whole lot of help!
There are a variety of signs I began to notice that demonstrated my girls truly are proud of me. For example, I passed the cool factor. Now that they are old enough to go to concerts and events, they still ask me to come before anyone else. They have their friends of course. However, when something truly important to them comes up, Mom is still their first choice for company. An honor and a relief!
I also noticed how protective they became. Not all people are kind, sadly. As my girls see others treat me in ways they don’t feel are respectful and loving, they are the ultimate ‘baby bear’. They put my ‘mama bear’ days to shame, protecting me at any cost. Seeing their fierce protective nature and obvious pain when I am not treated well shows me a profound love and pride I always hoped I to instill.
My kids have always been respectful and helpful. However, I now see an amazing side of them as they truly start to care for me. Being helpful, offering to take me out to do something fun, and displaying a general attitude and set of behaviors focused on making my life easier. They love to work with me, play with me and we have long talks about life. They choose to engage with me on an adult level and clearly feel a sense of pride and excitement at becoming true friends as the mature.
I still treasure my photo albums of when my girls were young. Such precious photos from the days when pictures were our record of our time with our kids. Now, my kids brag about me on their social media, snap chat and all the modern methods kids use to display and share their life. And I am allowed into their social sanctuary, whereas so many parents are not. We are ‘friends’”…the ultimate sign of approval. This gives me a true sense of how proud they are to have me in their lives, as they become adults!
As all kids do, my children become annoyed with me and frustrated and want their time alone. However, I am amazed and grateful for their ongoing persistence to create and maintain rituals to keep us close. Day trips, movie nights, TV Shows, favorite restaurants, getaways and dreams of the future all continue to be pursued as a family.
As my kids continue to move into their 20’s, they will surely create their own lives and we will have more separation along the way. However, knowing they are truly proud of me and the job I did as their mother, and the people they have become makes that separation far easier to tolerate.
They are willfully making an effort to forge a loving relationship as adults and I am unbelievably proud of them both and can’t wait to see what the road ahead brings as we grow together…and apart, but always with true love and great pride.