With my children now at the ages of 21 and nearly 18, I thought the parenting finish line was in sight. But the reality is that there is no such thing as an end to the parenting journey.
Three weeks ago Shannon ended up in the emergency room with an extremely high heart rate and numbness on her entire left side. That is a medical mystery we are still trying to solve.
Two weeks ago Sean had his wisdom teeth removed. We had to make several trips back to the surgeon's office when two of the sockets were not healing properly. This past weekend, he developed an infection on the left side and had additional surgery this past Monday. He is now even more swollen than after his wisdom teeth initially came out and in even more pain as well.
In the midst of all the doctors, tests, surgeries and MRIs, there is something they both needed the most--their mom.
I had visions when my children were young about how life would be when they were both grown. I would have more freedom, be able to work more hours and resume life as I knew it before parenting because they just would not need me as much.
But the truth is that life is complicated. The older we get, the more complex the situations and experiences. This is true for both parents and children.
No matter what age, our children still need our support and guidance. And as parents, we still need to know we are an important part of their lives. That we still matter.
I have found that as my children grow older, they often need me more now than they did when they were small. I will be a parent for as long as we all shall live.
And that makes me happier than I thought it would. Because to certain people in this world, I will always matter. No matter how old we all get.