Sunday, August 2, 2015

Little People, Big World.

One of the benefits of cable television is the ability to find something on at any time of the day or night.  For some reason, TLC seems to be lacking variety in their programming, choosing to show hours and hours of back to back episodes of their shows.  Today I was determined to do two things:  officially houseclean the living room, and finally cut up the last of the roma tomatoes from the first bushel, and do the roasting and canning.  So I did this all with the Roloffs catching me up on the marriages and graduations of their kids in four or five consecutive episodes.

I'm not gonna lie, I admire this family, even if I do want to shake the father for his bullheaded ideas sometimes.  Fortunately for them, they live behind the screen in my tv, and don't have to listen to my rants or see my eyes rolling behind their backs.  Amy and Matt Roloff's worlds are changing -- even TLC stars have to deal with kids going off to the next phase of their lives.   I get it -- it's tough for parents to see their kids leave -- whether it's heading off to college, marriage, or simply moving out.  And as exciting, scary, and overwhelming as these transitions are for the kids, it's uncharted territory for the parents as well.  

Tomorrow starts the first day of band camp, and I will begin to be tortured by the Facebook posts of parents of seniors, slowly learning to let go.  "Last first day of band camp, sniff."  "Last schedule change.."  "First college application."  Each of these types of statuses is as much about the announcement of the latest accomplishment, as it is about the stretching of the apron strings -- some of which will stretch across state lines in less than a year as these very high school seniors go off to college.

Having successfully launched 2 3/4 kids to college myself, and watched hundreds of parents do so as well, I can assure even the most petrified parents that it will be fine.  THEY will be fine.  It's the first day of kindergarten, all over again.  Let go, and remember the excitement of that kindergartener sharing something with you for the first time -- that giant sense of accomplishment -- reading, writing, making a new friend -- that they did without you.  Remember those Superstar awards?  Art Awards? School plays and performances? They happen in college as well.

And it's the big time, now.  When they call home, excited about their latest adventures, you'll be more proud than you can imagine, as they succeed on their own.

Yes, it's a big world, and just a blink ago they were kindergarteners.  And a blink from now, they'll be moving tassels on high school and college mortarboards, and you'll be even more proud than ever, catching your friends up on the accomplishments of your former little people.

Because, after all, parents exist to raise children, and be as supportive as the kids need.  You'll always be mom and dad, even if you feel like you, yourself, are just a little person facing a big world, that seems to be stealing your child from you.

TRUST them.  TRUST yourself, and get ready for a lot of lasts.  Every new beginning is another new beginning's end, right?