I came across this quote again recently from poet e.e. cummings and couldn’t ignore it.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Who you really are – not who your dad is or your mom is – or any one of your siblings – but you.
And what a powerful thought to share as so many of our young graduates have recently completed high school, college, enlisted in the Armed Services, entered the workforce.
Who are they? Do they own the courage to be who they really are? Who they want to be?
When our children are little, every stage is like a new shared adventure, it seems. In some ways, we are involved and move along closely with our children through their toddler years, preschool, elementary, and even middle school.
But there does come a time when we realize our children’s development is not as predictable. They may have interests unique to themselves, different from our own. They are pursuing challenges that are significant to them – perhaps leaning toward teachers and mentors outside the family.
And that’s what growth is about. I still recall teasingly saying to my son in early high school that I felt a bit out of the loop these days compared to other years.
His good-natured but definite response was “Well, you’re out of the loop now, Mom!”
And it’s true – our children from childhood through adulthood are on their own personal journey and development. And there comes a time when this journey is naturally theirs – when the courage is theirs to yet explore and claim.
As parents, we are on our own, “out of the loop” so to speak, hopefully progressing also to understanding, valuing, and rejoicing in who our children really are.