Last night, while going through an old box of pictures of my children in their growing up years, I reviewed the seasons of change that we have all gone through. The baby pictures, school year pictures, and works of art made for me for Mother’s Day, my birthday, and other holidays warm my heart even more now.

My youngest daughter graduated from high school a few months ago. She and I have just moved into a smaller home, her older sister having moved on to her own grown-up life.

Transitions like these aren’t easy for me. I’ve been a single mother for 14 years. My “kids” are now 27, 22, 20 and 18, each “grown-up” by some people’s definition, but still my babies.

I have already been blessed by the next phase of family life. I have two beautiful grandsons from my oldest son. They are 2½ and 18 months old. The joy that these two babies have brought me is unspeakable.

As I come to the end of my responsibilities as a parent, I see the true fruits of my labor. My children are all healthy, happy, and building constructive lives. Now, as my children are getting married and engaged, going to college and moving on with their lives, I am moving onto my new role in my children’s lives — mentor/friend, hopefully, and always loving mother.

Building a new life

Along with many blessings of family, these transitions have also opened up my time. I have been working to build a life of my own, so that my children can have theirs. Although I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren, I know that they need lives independent from me. And they need to know that Mom is going to be all right.

In as much as my children are growing up, so am I. Life is a process. We all stumble at times. It doesn’t have to be “empty” or a “syndrome.”

By sharing the many lessons through these years of child rearing with my children now that they are parents, I look forward to the things I will learn through being a grandmother. This new season I am entering is exciting for me! I look forward to the prospects of my “new life” with positive aspirations.

This article was written by: R. J. Ladd

Photo Credit: Anthony Tran