When one of our adult children began visiting only his spouse’s family, we were surprised.
As it continued, we were confused. We had met the girl, and originally enjoyed her a lot.
As the years continued, we wondered if she realized that his family loved him as much as her family loved her.
A friend invited me to a Facebook page for people who were experiencing estrangement. Her adult daughter had ceased contact.
An artist friend told me of visiting her son and his family and asked him why, in the nine years of his marriage, they only visited his spouse’s family. They had prepared to move there for their retirement. Instead, they cut their visit short and enjoyed some vacation time in another location.
In the light of my small circle of friends and their experiences, I was grateful another friend gave me an affirmation to consider.
“Thank you for what you are teaching me through this experience.”
For a few days, I pondered this without trying to come up with any answers.
Very gently, a few days later, I found out what I was being taught.
It was that it is OK to be happy anyway.
I was surprised.
There is so much emotional investment in raising children to adulthood. One looks forward to enjoying adult conversations with our children once they are grown. To including them and being included in an expanded sense of family. To getting to know them in another context besides the challenges of raising them.
This is happening with a number of our other children. We enjoy our conversations with them as adults. Their expanding viewpoints and ours. Their new experiences. Watching them raise their children and seeing greater maturity permeate their lives.
Even though we don’t see some of our adult children, it is good to know that it is OK to be happy anyway.
The Universe is generous, and has given us full lives, apparently, with, or without our adult children.
And they, and we, are always very deeply loved.
© 2016 Kathryn Hardage