Having grown-up children is such a new experience for me. Since I am such a huge consumer of words...meaning...I'm a voracious reader, I should have been reading, long ago, about how to be a parent to an adult. It's sometimes more challenging than when the kids were little because I feel so parental, yet that stage is not wholly mine to embrace any longer. These days, it's more of being a friend --- the thing I dare NOT try to be while they were in the middle of growing up, THAT is the thing I must be to my daughters during this phase...a friend.
It's hard to not have a room to send them to so I will know they are safe when I am petrified.
It's great to have two new beautiful friends, young friends, very young friends that I can't keep up with.
My oldest daughter Heather is engaged to be married to a nice young man who is trying to make his own mark in this world and doing a nice job of it.
They make a sweet couple. Heather is a determined young woman who is very intelligent, has a good heart and I love our long talks on the phone, just like I used to do with my own mother. Sometimes, Heather reminds me so much of myself. Did I mention that she's amazing?
The great thing is that I like her fiance Henry. And, let me tell you, this Mama is not easily won over. Ask Henry. He's paid his dues and he's hung in there and he's been so sweet to me in spite of my guarded attention. These days, if he and my daughter have an argument, I will, of course, chit-chat it up with my daughter, but in the end, I am also conscious of Henry's side of the story.
And my youngest daughter, Stefanie, she is such a fun friend to have as well. She is blessed to also have a sweet boyfriend.
The two of them are working on finishing their degrees. Brice, her boyfriend, is a guy who is always ready to light up a room with his smile and a contagious laugh. He's a lot of fun to be around. And, he's good to Stefie; he listens to her and really makes it known that she's a priority in his life. I like that about him because Stefie is a sweetie.
Yesterday, Stefie actually took me on a date to see "Breaking Dawn." Her and I had read all of the Twilight books and became fast fans of Stephanie Meyer's prose. We love her creativity and modern fairy tale style of writing. So, we love going to the movies and watching the latest motion picture version of the books we enjoyed. On the way to the movies, we stopped at Walgreens to buy some candy and a drink to smuggle into the moves. Yes, we are penny-pinchers as well. And we had a GREAT time at the movies together, even when the people about five rows below us brought in a BABY in a baby carrier. What?
Hey people...we had to PAY to get into this place to see this movie and to NOT hear the things we'd hear at home, such as barking dogs---ours and the neighbors --- the dishwasher in action, the doorbell ringing as the solicitor waits to try to sell something and DEFINITELY not a baby.
I had TWO babies of my own; I love babies, but I never took them to the movies with me so that they could interfere with someone else's time AWAY from their babies. But, before the movie began, Stefie and I ended up sitting through advertisements on the big screen and as we were whispering that we sure hope that baby doesn't start crying in the middle of the movie, my little Stefie gets a bright idea and pulls out her IPhone to show me something.
After a quick internet search, even though we could barely hear anything over the LOUD movie theater advertisements, she put her IPhone between us so she could show me, the old gal, a popular and very inappropriate YouTube gal, Jenna Marbles, as she did a particular post about an unwelcomed baby in her apartment. After getting over the shock of the "F" bombs throughout the video, I did think it was funny that Stefie found that particular blog post to pull up at that particular moment as we were sitting in the movie theater in that particular "baby" situation.
The horrible part is...as we were watching this YouTube video and laughing hysterically at our situation with the baby a short distance away...the advertisements in the movie theater suddenly came to a complete STOP and the theater goes into dead silence just as Stefie's IPhone is screaming with Jenna Marbles imitating the sounds of a baby with "WAHHH, WAHHH, WAHHH" and some other choice words. We could not hit the screen of her IPhone to stop the sounds fast enough. It was as if we had a bright spot-light on our misdeed.
These are the moments when you know God has a sense of humor and you're hoping that the couple with the baby does too.
We finally get the IPhone's blaring SURROUND SOUND to shut off and we laughed even more hysterically at the discomfort we felt. I was ready for the couple with the baby to look backwards at us with double expressions that could kill. Believe me, I had my hands and fingers prepared to start pointing at Stefie as I said, "SHE did it!"
The terrible thing is...no one would have known that we were watching a video...all it sounded like was as if someone behind them was sarcastically imitating the irritating side of a baby with the "WAHHH, WAHHH, WAHHH" screeching sounds. Someone like...one of us.
Thankfully, we made it out of the movies alive. As a parent myself, I thought the young couple showed great restraint. Such maturity, except for the part about bringing a baby to a movie that cost us $20.00 to see.
Anyway, the baby DID start crying during one of the most crucial moments in the movie, but they did some fast responding to limit the crying so it wasn't that noticeable.
One day, I'll be surrounded by babies again. I love all the sounds of a baby, just not in a movie theater. Until then, I have a couple of great new friends to share a few shocking moments with because my kids and I know how to have a bit of fun together. I'm always ready for a good laugh. As a parent of adult children, I've learned to laugh a little harder and a little easier, even when one of my kiddos whips out a video with "F" bombs. I guess it's digestible because Stefie doesn't cuss whatsoever; she does not have what I call a "potty mouth syndrome."
However, if she did cuss these days, I guess my only recourse is to give the classic Mama-Says-You-Are-In-Trouble-Stare.
Otherwise, I can be friendly and give out unwelcomed lectures. At this stage, that is my favorite thing to do. Lectures. My daughters usually are good-natured about it. There are times when they are wise and know that they need to listen to what I have to say to them. Other times, they say, "I need to talk, no lectures, it's time to switch on the friend mode and leave the Mama mode in the distance."
Oh Lord. Brace yourself. Put on your "friend" hat because it's time to put away the bib.
Why didn't I read the books on being a parent of adult children? I'm winging it here! I'm inexperienced, but this part of growth in my life is a lot of fun!
And speaking of babies and being a parent...my daughters will be mothers one day and they better not ever take their baby to the movie theater. There might be a mother of grown children seated behind them who is all too eager to watch the movie without reminders of poopy diapers and spit-up. So, if you have a baby and want to see the movie, my advice is to wait until it comes out on DVD.