When Your Kids Don’t Need You Anymore

When Your Kids Don’t Need You Anymore

I feel like I’ve lost an arm. Or a leg. Or maybe it’s my heart that’s gone MIA.

My sixteen year old son got accepted into a month long art program this summer. In another town.

I miss him.

I didn’t want him to go when he told me about it. I almost said “no”, but I knew that would be selfish of me. It met my safety standards, it’s something he loves to do and it’s a great experience for him. I had no choice.

Maybe it’s because he’s my youngest, but it brought up a lot of stuff for me. Like what it means to be a parent.

Anyone with kids knows how time consuming being a parent is. You’re literally working to serve your kid almost every hour of the day. They always need something, and you’re always there to supply it. And this goes on every single day, every single minute, for years. Basically, the amount of time and love you invest in your child can’t be measured. It’s too great.

And then one day they leave…if only for a month. And they’re having a total blast. They’re feeling free and independent, and not thinking about you hardly at all. Unless it’s to make the obligatory phone call to let you know they’re okay.

“Are you homesick?” you ask.

“No, I’m having fun. No offense!”

My heart’s clearly not missing because I can feel it, and it hurts. But I want my son to have fun. I really, really do. I just have to get over the shock of realizing, for the first time, that one day I won’t have anyone to take care of anymore. One day my kids will want to take care of themselves.

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