Friday, July 25, 2014

The Illusion of Finishing

On Fridays I (sometimes) link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for a writing flash mob. I write for five minutes on the topic Lisa-Jo has chosen. Today's writing prompt is finish.

Yesterday I had lunch with two dear friends. We have watched our children grow from first graders to college students. As women are apt to do, we talked about everything under the sun - summer travels, clothes, exercise, church, our work and, of course, our children. After a good, long talk I commented that being the parent of adult children is so much more complicated than parenting babies and grade schoolers. 

When we are young parents, we think we have it is so hard. Juggling school schedules and sporting events, and field trips and birthday parties, dentist appointments and keeping our growing children in shoes that fit. All of this requires so much energy we fall into bed each night exhausted thinking it will surely be easier when they’re older. And honestly it is easier in that it requires less physical energy. But yesterday we laughed at the naiveté of our younger selves. How could we have known being the parent of a twenty year old requires so much more brain power? It makes those younger years seem simple.

Perhaps there is no such thing as “finishing.” We are never finished parenting. We are never finished loving. We are never finished laughing so loudly we embarrass our children (some of us). We are never finished crying. We are never finished finding the beauty around us. We are never finished being brave or making hard decisions.

Finishing is an illusion. For every day is new. Every day is a gift. Every day is an opportunity to grow a little further into that person we were born to be. And I really never want to finish parenting.


  1. Visiting from FMF. Amen. A parent is a parent forever. You are never "finished" ... only the challenges change. Every day is new. Every day is a gift. Relish them!

  2. Oh, my, so true, so true. Thank you for sharing your observations and insights. I'm over 70 and our daughters are all still my kids, and instinctively I want to shield them. I have finally learned to treat them as separate from my own ego, meaning that I see them as separate "Selves". Though of course, in some ways, they will always be my "babies".

    1. Thank you. I like knowing I get to be a parent forever.