It is a wonderful thing when your children, the fruits of your womb, those little creatures you spent all those years raising, trying to encourage them to become responsible, contributing adults, reach the age where you no longer need to parent – or at least not really parent – but where you can relax and enjoy and value all they have grown to be and all they offer. Best of all, you can value the fact that they are friends. Perhaps best friends.
My kids, the Gep and the Kat, are adults now – full fledged adults at that. They have become people I am pleased to know, people I happily call my kids, my friends. In the process they have developed characteristics, talents and skills I envy.
Gep, my first-born, my big tall son, has infinite patience and an infinite desire to learn, to continue to learn about all things. He has so much talent in many areas. He is an amazing teacher, an amazing nurturer of children. He is an explorer, a traveler of the world, always open to new places and new experiences. He has spent time in Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic working and helping to build churches, water systems, needed amenities in remote, poor villages. He has taught in China, in Korea, and will be going to Muscat, Oman to teach next month. He is my favorite son.
Kat, my second-born and my favorite daughter, is a creative, imaginative creature. Not unlike me when I was much younger, she has been emotional, has had a life that has been a bit of a roller coaster, has been searching for who she is. She is, I believe, finding that person, accepting that person, learning to be what and who she is without feeling a need to be more. To be it all. She is also an incredible teacher, one who relates and interfaces amazingly well with preschool and younger-age children. She has had to deal with living in the California economy, getting her Master’s degree in education just as the economy crashed and hiring went on hold while lay-offs and firing became the norm. She is holding her own. She is living her life with joy. She is using her many talents and finding the reward that comes with that.
My kids are my pride. My kids – who are not kids anymore – tell me that somehow, somewhere along the line, all the mistakes I have made in this life were not the end of the road – were not what I will leave behind. What I will leave behind is two adults with the power to reason, to think, to survive. To be themselves, to stand up to the world and its demands. To stand tall despite the challenges, to be true to themselves.
It is a most wonderful thing to have your legacy be two people who have so much to offer. Who could ask for anything more?
But yes, I could ask for more. When your son and your daughter plan a dinner like this:
and many other most delicious meals in tandem with offering wonderful company, you could ask that it never end. When they leave, I will have to cook again.
That is not a good thing.