If you have children, you will never… ever… cease being a parent. That’s not to say that you have to continually treat your offspring as a child, but there will always be a feeling that you must protect and support your kids. And, yes, I fully realize that there are some parents out there who feel their parental duties cease the moment their child turns 18. Or even a 12-sigma minority who feel it ceases at birth…or even conception from some men. But for the majority of us, always a parent.
My kids have had several opportunities to prove this point. But I’ve noticed a subtle shift. A shift which is touching.
Case in point.
Boy Child is a contributing member of society, adult in all senses of the word. But, still human. And subject to human frailties and life events.
He’s dating. Or attempting to. He dates some people he’s met through work, as well as a couple he’s met on-line. A recent date? One of his good friends for quite awhile. He’s told me that they really like each other as friends, but never crossed the line to ‘dating’.
That changed recently, as evidenced by a text message from The Boy:
Parent mode kicks in and an immediate text back to him, asking what’s going on.
Seems he finally crossed the line with his longtime friend and found himself “making out” with her. The problem? His friend is still with her current partner. Yes, they’re on the last legs of that relationship, but they’re still together. Boy Child is very sensitive to the potential for problems with this. His next text to me affirmed his feeling that:
“…it’s gonna be a drama apocalypse…”
(and a nice turn-of-phrase, that).
As a parent, I want to help. As a parent, though, I know he’s an adult and must deal with this. So, I offer support, an ear, a shoulder, a few kind words, and affirmation of him being a good man.
But the ‘dad’ in me still aches for him.
And the ‘dad’ in me feels damn good that he feels he can come to me, openly and honestly, with this.
I think I did good raising that pup…