It is funny how time passing can and does change everything. Children that in these pictures and many of the others I’ve shared that were small are now large. They then were bound more to us (my wife and I) than they are now. That is, of course, the goal of a parent, to let your children go so that they can fly. Catch them if you need to, help them when you can, but let them fly. Many years ago my mother and I had a conversation about that. I remember the conversation to this day. Mom said, “You hope your children grow up to become people you want to have as friends.” First of all, you have to think what a friend is. I have many friends. There are some that I talk to all the time.
There are some that I only talk to once in a while. I have always judged the nature of the relationship by the overall ability to resume conversations with friends, even with the passage of time. That to me is the key that the relationship doesn’t require day to day interaction. That you can put the relationship down as it were, on the end table by the bed, and then when you pick it up again it is there. I suspect that thinking probably gets many people into trouble in marriages. In a marriage, both participants have to be in the relationship every day. You can’t put marriage on the end table and pick it up when you need something from it. You have to be involved every day.
But children becoming your friends becomes interesting. My mother has done that to me for many years. She drops a bomb like that that forces me to think, consider and evaluate where I am with the bombshell. Later she will remind me of the bombshell, and we will talk about it. We did, in fact, talk about this bombshell after I became a parent. It is the hardest part of letting go. In fact, as a parent letting go completely without knowing the boomerang will return is scary. There are a million little cuts that happen as a child grows up. A million reasons why that child is angry. A million things that force the building of walls and of anger. There are a million things that we do for children that slowly tear those walls down. But both sides have to remember. Both sides have to recall. You can only forgive a million forgotten bandaids when you remember the million other things that were done to make life easier for you. I guess in the end, thanks, mom. For the million things, you did for me! One of which was teaching me to put on my own band-aids!