Friday, June 22, 2012

From parent to friend?

Watercolor 5 x 7 inches

Watercolor, 5 x 7 inches

Dimitri, my son is moving out this week. Rea and Elli already
moved during the past few months. They are happy and getting on with their lives.
I have to say it has been an absolute
 delight to meet them for coffee, or the occasional sleepover, and making Sunday the day to meet for a family dinner(a new tradition!) We have been developing a new type of
relationship. My mother mails me newspaper clippings and photos almost weekly. I find that I too
send my daughters emails with interesting links almost daily. They send me funny videos and 
great music. We are in the process of creating something new, and I am really loving watching the unfolding of their lives as young adults.
I know many of you have very young kids still at home, and this must be hard  to imagine.
We still have Lucy too, who is only ten , so we do have a few more years of hands-on-parenting.
All in all, I have found it a very hard transition, so much of my identity in the last two decades has been defined
by being the mother to my first three. For a few years I was a single mom with them, and everything in
our lives happened to all of us together. So I had to ask myself who was I now that they were
spreading their wings? Who am I when I am not a mom? 
What kind of a mom should I be now to my young adults? They are not 'my' young adults for one. They are just that, young adults. Are they my friends? I don't have any answers. 
It has been difficult to articulate this whole process. It still is. 
So I am painting flowers. That makes me feel good. (without  it being chocolate covered cookies)



Paravent said...

Such a beautiful post Annamaria - it's made me cry. It must be so difficult but also so lovely and rewarding and wonderous to see :) I can't imagine it with my girls yet, but as my eldest is 15 I know it's not too far away. They already go out with their own friends so I can see a glimmer of what is to come, but yes, not there yet. But how wonderful to know that you have guided them and helped them become independent beings; that they are young adults who want to spend time with you and treasure your company. Maybe some things don't need to be labelled and pigeon-holed... Maybe it's just like when they were at home, you're there for them and take things as they come? Thanks for sharing this. Kx

Francesca said...

i love your posts annamaria. they always make me think. seems like you already have a great relationship, and like kylie says, don't overthink it. the transition is happening, doing its own thing. you'll always be their mother. coffee, and emails, and dinner and laughing with your independent young adults is perfect. and they are still 'yours', they'll always be. even when they are off and wed. x

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you Kylie , thank you Francesca, , its so nice to get this feedback from you. I was not sure I should write about this , now I am happy I did.xx

K R I S T I I N A said... seem to be a wonderful mom- a role-model.
I think it is lovely how you keep very close contact with your kids, that´s so lovely! And yes you got me to check out the videos on women sharing their business stories. Thanks for sharing that!

Carole Reid said...

Annamaria, being close to our "children" when they are adults is just one of the many benefits of letting them spread their wings and fly. I love my visits and phone calls with my daughters. We are friends but I am careful to keep a certain boundary. This stage of life is fabulous! I love every second of it but it took some time to get used to the quiet, clean house! xo Carole

kristine h said...

As always, thank you, Annamaria, for sharing so honestly. At my daughter's college orientation the other week I was very aware of that hole she will leave in the fall as we say goodbye. I know, too, that our relationship will change in the future and be very rich, indeed. But gosh, back to that hole. It's in my chest and it's like an involuntary muscle reaction. It's surprising. Please, oh, please keep sharing and painting and living with your whole heart.