Had a coffee date today with my first pancake, my firstborn, Brentling 1. I try to connect with her once a week but it is not always possible. Pancake is turning 21 in a couple of days. This is a huge milestone. So much has happened. Even though I was not always there physically from 7 years old, there are no winners in divorce, we have managed to grow and maintain a healthy, open loving relationship. It has not been easy as we do have different views, opinions and beliefs. We have however agreed to respect each other, mindful to encourage open and honest dialogue over the years.
There have been times when Pancake has shown maturity regarding a certain situation that has helped me to parent or advise her. Parenting is not an automatic function but rather an intentional moving from one state to another. Each time I need to remind Brentling 1 that I too don’t have all the answers, this is my first time being a dad to a 21 year old. I am also developing skills on how to ask questions, unlocking layers of complex emotions and thoughts. Another overlooked skill is how to answer correctly, to get the maximum benefit from a line of questioning. PAUSE before blurting out the first thought. Many a time there is another question or thought lurking behind the one that has been voiced.
I am so very proud of Firstborn. She has endured many challenges that life and decisions have brought on her path. As with everyone of us, the growing is on the other side of discomfort. As a dad, the hardest part is to not interfere when these uncomfortable situations arise. Love, advise and observe. Then love some more. The whole point of raising children is so that they can be forward thinking, responsible and contributing adults. She is also constantly motivating me and encouraging me to experience and explore new avenues, hence me blogging!
So hey, some bits broken, some bruised and some celebrated. Kept alive till 21. Well done to all parents who love and cherish their children. Seeing them into adulthood is rewarding.
Remember that your children will most likely one day pick the home you spend your last days in. Just saying……