Sunday, June 27, 2010

Parents, Children and Manners...the Grownup Kind

I have my 24 year old son staying with me at the moment. He has lived away for 6 years and to have him back to share the morning coffee and to leave a meal for him for when he gets home from work late is an absolute pleasure.

This sojourn will only be for another week, and I will miss him when he goes.   Like so many parents these days, we seem to have our children in their mid-20's returning to the nest, a situation which never happened in my day.  Parents then often downsized as soon as the darlings left, as much as anything as a disincentive for those same darlings to return. 

It's amazing how sharing a glass of wine with my son as we discuss our respective days so easily puts us in the category of "friends"...of course I reserve the right to maintain my "mother status" but this nice, easy rapport is very comforting.  After years of very normal teenage/parent altercations, to be able to pay genuine compliments about his manners, appearance and great conversation is a mother's joy.

How many times did we parents of young children hear others complimenting them and their manners, only to find ourselves wondering if they were really speaking about the same person?!  But for all the times when we thought civilising our teenagers was an impossible task there are those when a knowing and gentle smile, and a hug for the one who corrected them relentlessly was so very rewarding.

For all you parents out there who wonder if the battle is worthy of its outcome, keep up the good work!  I hope you too will have the opportunity to share a wine or a coffee with your adult child and feel proud.

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