Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day - Letting Go

My husband and I were having a discussion one day.  I told him about a problem I was having.  As soon as I laid out my problem, he began  trying to solve it. That's what we are wired to do,  I think, is solve problems.  I remember saying to him, "I don't need you  to solve this, I just need you to listen!"

Of course, as a parent, it's totally different.  I must solve each and every problem my children present.   It's called being a good parent.  

Ha.

My oldest finished college in January and is currently job hunting.  It's been a frustrating experience and not as expedient as she assumed it would be.  She's learned humility and patience.  I've learned to step back.  

Way the hell back.  Like, look behind you.  See that mountain?  No?  That's perfect.  That's just about far enough.  

It's the hardest thing, to support and help without fixing.  I'm  sure there's a trick to it.  If I live long enough, maybe I'll add it to my bag.  For now, I'm just very lucky that we communicate mostly by text.  It allows me to offer suggestions, which I then erase and replace with, "I'm so sorry.  That stinks", or other equally short, supportive statements.

She doesn't need me to fix this.  She can fix this.  She just needs me to listen.

4 comments:

  1. Damn, you sound like a good parent.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Hi Doug-thanks for your visit and the comment. I'm happy if I sound good on paper. I'm not that good, though. Thus the angst:-)

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  2. Hah! I did the same thing, but emailing :)

    Eventually I found that a good balance was to be listeningAND also making suggestions from time to time. But just not all the time. And now and then I still ask my kids if I'm being too involved or not enough. Because I just don't know, sometimes. Being a parent is hard.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm trying to find that balance, too. Asking would be a good idea. I should try that. Sometimes, it just doesn't occur to me to ask.

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