Discussion in 'The Coffee House' started by neverdie, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. neverdie

    neverdie Guest

    Is there a magic cutoff period when
    offspring become accountable for their own
    actions? Is there a wonderful moment when
    parents can become detached spectators in
    the lives of their children and shrug, 'It's
    their life,' and feel nothing?

    When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital
    corridor waiting for doctors to put a few
    stitches in my son's head. I asked, 'When do
    you stop worrying?' The nurse said,
    'When they get out of the accident stage.' My
    mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

    When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little
    chair in a classroom and heard how one of my
    children talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
    and was headed for a career making
    license plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher
    said, 'Don't worry, they all go through
    this stage and then you can sit back, relax and
    enjoy them.' My mother just smiled
    faintly and said nothing.

    When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime
    waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come
    home, the front door to open. A friend said,
    'They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry,
    in a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be
    adults.' My mother just smiled faintly
    and said nothing.

    By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being
    vulnerable. I was still worrying over my
    children, but there was a new wrinkle. There
    was nothing I could do about it. My
    mother just smiled faintly and said nothing. I
    continued to anguish over their failures, be
    tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in
    their disappointments.

    My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own
    life. I wanted to believe that, but I was
    haunted by my mother's warm smile and her
    occasional, 'You look pale. Are you alright?
    Call me the minute you get home. Are
    you depressed about something?'

    Can it be that parents are sentenced to a
    lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another
    handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of
    human frailties and the fears of the
    unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue
    that elevates us to the highest form of life?

    One of my children became quite irritable
    recently, saying to me, 'Where were you? I've
    been calling for 3 days, and no one answered. I was worried.'
    I smiled a warm smile - the torch has been passed.

  2. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    The torch may pass, but you never stop worrying about your children, no matter how old they are.
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