My boys have been spending a lot of time together in the backyard digging holes, planting gardens, and trying to start fires in the fire pit without matches or a lighter. I often spy on them through our sliding glass doors.
It would irritate them if they knew I did this, but it is too good to miss. Also, as their mother, it’s my right to take in all these beautiful moments whenever possible.
My daughter often brings her brother’s desserts home from her job as a hostess or makes special dinners for them. I love seeing them bounce up from their chairs and meet her at the door to see what she has for them. It makes her incredibly happy. It makes them happy, and man, it makes me glad to be able to witness it all.
I love when my teens help each other
Sometimes, they all sit around binge-watching a show together and pile in the car to get a coffee. They often help each other with a project, like when my youngest gave my oldest a hand when he was trying to start his four-wheeler.
It might sound like such a small thing, but watching their twenty-year-old, eighteen-year-old, and sixteen-year-old selves takes me back to when they were little, when they’d be chasing fireflies around the yard, lighting sparklers, and sledding down our tiny hill.
Only now, it’s better.
Seeing your older kids get along, share a genuine bond, and form a relationship that I hope lasts a lifetime is the best gift I’ve ever received as a parent. Sometimes I stick my nose into their conversations to tell them how happy I am to see my children are genuinely friends. (Yes, I get all the eye rolls.)
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids form their relationships
But, most of the time, I stay quiet. I listen to their conversations without interfering because when I do that, it takes away from their time and way of forming their relationship. There’s nothing that gives me that warm fuzzy feeling like watching them help each other, ask each other for advice, or talk about the little people they used to be.
Knowing they don’t solely depend on me — they depend on each other. — gives me peace of mind. There will come a day when I’m not here, and they won’t be able to stop by and see me, call me to ask a question, or have me at a special event or milestone.
But, they will have each other.
When my kids were younger, someone was always having a meltdown
When they were younger, they got along pretty well, but because I had three of them three years apart, there was always one who was left out. Their quiet play time only lasted a few minutes, and someone always had a meltdown when we did family things.
Moms of teenagers and twenty-somethings often talk about the nostalgia of the younger years. How much they miss the simpler times, and their kids are so busy now with their own lives they feel a part of them is missing.
I get that. I truly do. I still feel all of those things, and there’s not a lot I wouldn’t give to be transported back in time and have one more day with them when they were little kids who let me inhale their silk smooth heads, have them take a nap on my lap, and reach for my hand in the grocery store.
Seeing the relationship they have now makes me appreciate this time in our lives
However, seeing the relationship my kids formed together and what it’s done for their confidence and well-being honestly makes up for that.
I know they won’t just have me, whatever they decide to do — change careers, start a family, move out of the country, start their own business, or go through a bad breakup. They will also have two other people they can count on for love and support. They will have two people who have seen them grow up and tackle hard things. They will have two people who know them like no one else does.
I also know they have each other to lean on if they want to talk about something but don’t feel comfortable coming to me.
I feel incredibly lucky every time my son goes out and checks on my daughter’s car to make sure it’s running okay. I love seeing my sons talk about a TV show they are into and watching together. And nothing, nothing has made me happier than seeing those three (very grown-up heads) walking our dog down our road or coming back from a coffee run.
Yes, your kids will grow up, move out, need you less, and you won’t get to see them as much. It can be incredibly painful and leave a deep void you aren’t sure how to fill. But if your kids have a close relationship with each other, it makes up for all of that. I promise.
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