A Child Always
Even though I remember what that race for independence was like, I also know what it's like to watch it from the other side. From the moment our children are born, we celebrate each new 'first' in their life. First time they roll over, first time they crawl, first step, first word, first time they ride a bike, first day of school, first date, first job, first time they drive... We all start out so excited, we can't wait until their next 'first', brag and blog about it even, and then all of the sudden, even though we're still excited for them, it's also mixed with a little sadness. It's a parent's joy to watch their kids grow up as long as we're still needed. It is a little ironic that for the first years of their life we're telling them how big they are; "you're such a big girl", "that's my big boy", "you're growing up so fast" and when they start to believe it we begin saying "you're not old enough for that", "don't be in such a hurry to grow up". Our kids get to an age that we realize every 'first' is taking them just a little closer to that independence they're running to and a little further away from us. Raising confident kids that feel secure enough to leave our side is what a parent...a good parent, strives to do, but it doesn't make it any easier when we succeed.
It's a delicate balance, though. On one hand we want to raise our kids to be self sufficient, and yet we want them to always know that they can come to us when they need us. Sometimes that's hardest on the child, because not only do they want to prove to themselves that they can make it on their own, they want to prove it to their parents as well, and that is admirable. But parents are there for a reason, not only for help, but for encouragement and to listen. God set the perfect example of the Father - child relationship. A parent loves without condition, never turns a deaf ear, and would give His life if needed. As children, we all get busy and sometimes the thought of our parents never crosses our mind, it's only natural, but that doesn't mean that the parent ever forgets about the child. It's impossible.
We've all told our parents growing up "I'm not a child anymore", but the fact is, as long as your parents are alive, you'll always be a child...their child. And regardless of how grown you are, be it 21 or 51, it will always be their first instinct to help you and to make things better for you because there will never be anything stronger or more important to them in this world than their love for you.