From the 2011 ScLoHo archives:
Before the year is over, I’ll be 52 years old.
I still feel like a kid.
And I feel like an adult too.
My wife Kathy and I were talking last weekend about “stuff”, nothing too heavy, but I realized how much fun we have as empty nesters.
And I believe I understand my parents much better now too.
Although my Dad died in 1998 and my Mom died in 2001, it wasn’t the last few years of their lives I think about, it’s the time before those last few years.
When I was 26 and was busy as a parent with 3 preschoolers, I sometimes felt overwhelmed by my immediate family of 5 and my parents were a couple hundred miles away. I really didn’t know the details of their lives.
But knowing who they were, with the combination of humor, fun and responsibility that they lived, I can now picture in my mind that they went through many of the same things I do now.
It’s a combination of being proud of your kids, their spouses, their growing families and lives, mixed with concern that their lives will be also filled with challenges that they will have to figure out and emerge from.
I understand the freedom they must have felt too. I never really knew what my parents did in their 50’s except for a few vacations and some health issues that came up.
But I understand now.
And one day when my kids kids are off on their own, I bet they’ll have that same understanding of their previous generation (their parents).