Yesterday my oldest child turned 18. 18. Officially an adult. Oof. I think everyone expects that to mean he’s suddenly a young adult, but adulting doesn’t work that way. It’s not a switch you turn on all of the sudden -blink- and you’re an adult. In fact I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I mean since you’ve been there yourself. And of course the parenting doesn’t end. I don’t get to brush off my hands, pat myself on the back, and be done. I’m just parenting someone who is legally an adult now.
At 18 I thought I knew exactly the path I wanted to be on, but boy was I wrong! Life and our hearts change and grow (at least they should!) so much over time that what we think we should do at 18 is usually wrong. And who we think we are at 18? We’re usually so far off base it’s laughable. As an aside I’m sure 80 year old me will look back on 39 year old me and laugh at what I thought life would be, too.
Nathan is a great, great kid. But he isn’t a fan of me waxing poetic about him or parenthood so I’ll save that for my journal. Instead I will extend to you the same thing I asked of many friends-
What would you tell 18 year old you?
I would love if you’d share with me in the comments. I’m collecting them for him. And me. Because I’m learning that letting go is pretty hard.
My advice to my 18 year old self would probably be pretty simple: Be you.