This is a picture of my very happy daughter. You see, for 18.5 years, Rebecca has slept in the same bed. “I can’t believe I am still in my first bed…I’m 20 years old!” she said excitedly as we awaited the delivery of her adult bed. Yes, Bec has been in the same bed from the day she graduated from the crib. Now this was not a racing car nor a character bed, but a lofted bed with drawers, storage underneath and white railings so that she would not fall out of bed. At age 20, it is time to recognize that our baby is no longer a baby and has, in fact, grown into a young adult.
Many years ago, I remember having the conversation with my brothers about how in our minds we had finally become adults, yet when we stepped back into our parent’s house, or moved back in from college, they treated us like kids. As a child, I was upset that I was not recognized as an adult. Now, as an adult, at times, I still treat my children…as children. I understand my parents now, because there is a tendency to treat our children as we always had. Sometimes it is a conscientious thought process to remind myself that they are grown up.
Because Bec is a young adults, we have to remind ourselves (though it is hard at times) that she is allowed to make her own decisions, which we are happy to be sounding boards for her (same for Gab). This year, Bec made the decision to move off campus with her friends. I remember how excited I was when I moved off-campus my senior year with two friends. We moved in to the third floor over an abandoned store with no one on the second floor. We had access to the roof to hang out. It was as you would expect a college room to be, it was a great place to hang out and party in. Compared to my youngest brother’s off-campus housing, we had a quality place. His place had a front and back, where the back was condemned and falling over, the paint was peeling off the front the size of bed sheets and the drop ceiling in the kitchen had long ago lost its tiles.
I think that as a parent, we always will want to protect our offspring. However, just as we learn that every opportunity is a chance to learn and grow, sometimes failure is a part of that personal development process. We have given Gab and Bec the tools with which to make thoughtful decisions and we will always be there be help, support, cheer on and provide that shoulder or a hug when needed. Bec has a reason to be happy – it might be just a new bed, but here’s to the symbol of moving into adulthood and all of the wonderful things ahead!