Not “commitment.” RELATIONSHIP.
We had them until 18, because that is when the state said we were no longer responsible. And we took that seriously. Too many parents don’t bother to get their offspring ready to be adults by their 18th birthdays, including my own parents and my husband’s. Consequently, we made way too many stupid, unnecessary mistakes.
At 18, our “brains aren’t even done yet” children suddenly become capable of committing felonies for which they could go to jail for life. They can take out loans that they can’t repay or sign up to go get shot at in countries they never heard of before.
And long before that, they can die. Did we do everything possible to get them ready to meet Jesus? Did we pray for their future spouses or to accept whatever vocation the Lord called them to? Did we pray for the faith to let them go, to welcome the loss of control, to endure their failures?
We love it that our kids and their spouses not only enjoy and respect us, but also teach our grands to do the same. We welcome their phone calls, newsy emails, photographs, and visits.
But they’re adults. I didn’t let them dump their chores on me or take my stuff without asking when they were minors. I certainly don’t want that kind of disrespectful behaviors now that they are grown. And I, in turn, do not offer unsolicited advice or spoil their kids beyond what they have approved.
Call my Grammy Grinch if you want, but I won’t trade my adult-friends relationships with my grown offspring for anything.