Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adult Children

Yesterday I went to campus to pick up Geoff, my college boy. He's at Ohio State University, for those of you who haven't been readers since he started school two years ago. Yesterday was his last day of summer as autumn quarter classes start today. So, he came home for some grocery shopping, some home-cooked supper, and some play with his pup.

After we dropped the other kids off at home, he and I went, just the two of us, grocery shopping, and we had a good time, talking, even if it was just to argue about whether or not deviled ham is a good thing (one of us thinks it is and one of us thinks it's disgusting...can you guess who thinks what?). I enjoy talking to my adult son, though sometimes I feel he talks in code -- must be a college thing.

At home he asked if I would show him how to make hummus, one of his staples at school. So while I cooked chicken for dinner, he learned to make hummus. He tuned his cell phone to a Pandora jazz station and bopped around the kitchen, going from one thing to another, tasting the hummus, adjusting, and bopping. My adult son has ADHD and you 'll never find grass growing under his feet. After he stored his "awesome" hummus away in the fridge, he bopped in to play piano, then played on the floor with the dog, and then minutes later he was in playing Mario on the Wii with his brother.

This son of mine is so much like his eight-year-old self, sometimes I could just cry (cry at the loss of that little eight-year-old boy and cry at his immaturity). But most of the time I just love being with him. He is emerging into his adult self, and I am getting a glimpse what he might look like on the other side.

Certainly parenting would be easier if teenagers formed cocoons like the moth pupae, and metamorphosed into adults while they were hidden away from the world. Maybe the transformation would be more miraculous. As it is, it is sometimes very awkward and painful to watch them make the mistakes they must make in order to change and mature into the beautiful grown people they are meant to be.

Until that happens, until he emerges completely from the cocoon that is life (and when can we say that really happens? do we ever stop maturing?) I'll be on my knees, sending up softly murmured prayers to Our Father, our mother Mary, and my son's ever-watchful Guardian Angel.

O Lord, omnipotent Father, we give you thanks for having given us children. They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fears and labors which bring us pain. Help us to love them sincerely. Through us you gave life to them; from eternity you knew them and loved them. Give us the wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our example.

Support our love so that we may receive them back when they have strayed and make them good. It is often so difficult to understand them, to be as they would want us to be, to help them go on their way. Grant that they may always see our home as a haven in their time of need. Teach us and help us, O good Father, through the merits of Jesus, your Son and our Lord.

Prayer from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church



  1. Beautifully written. It is so hard to watch them stumble, isn't it?

  2. It's hard to watch and hard to let it happen! I just want to step in and tell them what to do, and what NOT to do.

    (okay, and what does it mean that my word verification is SLAPP?) LOL! Sometimes I want to slap them silly.

  3. Yes, very well written and oh, so true...I'm right there with you.

  4. Oh...and that poor buckeye mascot :(

  5. Jenny,
    I just want to pick them up and make it all better again. ;-)

    And, yes, sometimes I want to slap them silly, too!

    I know you are right there, Cheryl. ;-)
    (PS Yes, poor Brutus. Come to find out the O.U. mascot was not an O.U. student. I suspect he may have been paid to do what he did, and because he was not a student he could not be suspended or expelled.)

  6. First, my sister is an OSU grad. And I actually saw an OSU bumper sticker in London last week.

    This makes me think about sitting in a lactation consultant's office with 4 week old Mary Kate. She told me one day she will leave the nest and I will be more than ready. Then hopefully she will be a grow into a mature adult and there is a new adult relationship to enjoy. At the time I was mortified - I could not imagine a time when I would not want her to be with me every second. But now I can see how that day will come.

    Thank you for sharing this different but still wonderful stage.

  7. Sensible,
    You will never be ready. At least I don't think so. I have never understood moms and dads who rejoice when their children leave the nest. I don't think I ever will. I do, however, enjoy his almost-grown-up self and spending time with him. Maybe if he were very successful and I thought completely self-sufficient I wouldn't mind it when he leaves, but I kind of doubt it. ;-)

  8. oh, dear barb, this post was so dear to my heart. i can understand what you are feeling so clearly...especially what you said about the immaturity, the transformation and the mistakes...this is a hard business...this growing up. and ALL we can do is pray. and entrust them to Our Blessed Lord and HIS mother. and that, is ALOT!

    praying for you.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!