Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Am Responsible

Among the hardest things about parenting is making the transition from taking responsibility for your kids to making your kids responsible. After spending so many years doing for, and protecting, and paving the way for, it's not easy to ask of, expect from, and watch them walk away.

Most of my own transitions have been more from personal necessity than from any particular transition-making talent on my part. The changes in my jobs, work locations, and hours have led the way really--when work no longer took me in the direction of or at the time of school, we ushered in more independent transportation. When my hours made me unavailable to be the short order breakfast and lunch chef, people suddenly learned a bit of food prep. When I became unreachable because of bad cell phone reception or an all-quiet set, people learned to make decisions that always used to require my help.

Granted, had my own transitions been earlier in my career, the effects would have been different, as my kids would have been too young to adjust on their own. But I would like to think that the transitions that have sometimes battered me--battered us all--have also been my partner in teaching responsibility. Often, we rise to what we really can do only when we really have to, and we all have risen just a little when it has been necessary.

Transitions aren't easy, but when we allow them to make us rise, rather than stumble and fall, we can come out of them stronger, smarter, and more able to take the responsibility we we may never otherwise have intended. And for me and my kids, that responsibly is a step well-taken.

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