Our kids are attached to us in a variety of ways and while we claim, fuss, and are deeply committed to all of them, we accept that they all have different feelings and levels of attachment to us. They all have other parents or parental figures with whom we have had to come to terms with sharing. Each of our kids (ages: 18, 20, 21, 22, 22, 26) is unique and each one has expanded our lives, our understanding of ourselves, and our capacity for love, compassion and commitment in different ways. We're not going to lie--it hasn't always been easy! They take us in directions we never imagined.
I don't care what anyone says disparagingly about "kids today," I know that our kids get a great deal of pressure from multiple directions to go to college, get good jobs, settle down, shape up and grow up. They are wrestling with all the same identity, education, economic and personal challenges that that those of who are older maneuver and Teri and I figure the last thing they need is two more people trying to squeeze them into a "performance box." Instead, we try to remind them that life is not a race; they only have to be themselves and please themselves; mistakes and missteps happen; they can still be scared or anxious and do what they need to do; there are always options; and we are going to be here no matter what.