Birthing A (Firstborn) Adult

Image: Caroline Hernandez

Despite maintaining a fairly public profile, I don’t like writing about personal stuff, especially about current issues that we are dealing with in our family, because I do believe some things are just meant to be private and kept among the persons directly involved.

I am making an exception today, however, because the past three days have been nothing short of horrendous and felt like a mini-Lent (and we are STILL in the Easter season!)… but this morning felt like Easter Sunday again, and this post might actually be helpful for other parents who are learning how to release their own hatchlings into the wild.

This morning I sent this e-mail to our 26-year-old:

Okay, one last note from me and I’ll shut up.

I think I get it now.

When you say you want us to be SUPPORTIVE,

my/our interpretation is

PROCESS THIS WITH ME, HELP ME MAKE DECISIONS, like we’ve always done, like we do as parents.

This morning as I was loading the dishwasher, it occurred to me (thank You, Holy Spirit) that YOUR definition of support at this stage in your life, and OUR definition of support aren’t jiving anymore.

What you now need/want from us, when you say you want us to be supportive, are:

1. Prayers for you.
2. Affirmation of our faith and trust in you.
3. Confidence that we’ve given you the tools you need to be a thinking, discerning, independent adult.
3. Space to make your own decisions.
4. Allowing you to make your own mistakes and learn from them.
5. Trusting that you are letting the Holy Spirit and Mama Mary guide you.

Do I have this correct now?

Dad and I talked about this over breakfast and we agree, so I hope we’ve gotten it right this time.

I do want to reiterate what we’ve said many times before: because you are our firstborn, there will always be something we’re “new” at, we’re all feeling and thinking and praying our way through this. We are NOT experts, and unfortunately, YOU are the guinea pig.

So this whole “letting go of the young adult” — we’re still learning. And I daresay we’ve made mistakes and we’ll probably make more. (I did recall that in one of my blog posts I wrote that the key to birthing an adult is transitioning him/her from complete dependence on us, to complete dependence on God.)

But I appreciate the continued attempt at dialogue even though it’s painful and hard, and I appreciate the continued prayers.

Sometimes clarity comes after LOTS of prayers, and LOTS of rest.

Will continue to pray. Keep praying for us too.

Love you always,
Mom

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