I have already mentioned how connected my daughter and I are. And the connection with my son, while strained for a few years during his puberty, has become equally wonderful.
Daughter and I bonded early, and I miss the days of rocking her, singing to her, humming tunes to her, just anything that would relax her in the evenings; kids songs, hymns, whatever popped into my head. That happened even into her middle-school years, which are the ultimate hell, especially for girls.
She came through middle school, tougher. We had many battles, and she probably thought she hated me. But just let the earth rotate for awhile, and it settles down.
Son had some tough times in middle school years too, but primarily because we had moved to a different place, where he had to begin 5th grade. That sucks. If I had it to do over again, I would have put both of my children in their neighborhood schools, and kept them there until they graduated high school. But there are no do-overs in life.
They have found their way at different paces, in different conditions, and they are different people. Daughter decided, halfway through HS senior year, that she was going to enlist in the Armed Forces. She was relieved to have made this decision, as all of us are when we make a final decision. She had a point on which to focus. I didn’t think it a bad idea.
Son took a slightly different path, and stumbled a little, but found his way, and is now working in a vocation that is far more important than any work I have ever done: firefighting, emergency care, paramedic.
We could not be more proud of them.
I can talk with daughter about everything from her eating ravioli as an infant, to both of us howling with laughter at The Simpsons when she got older. She has talents I will never have.
Ditto with son: we can talk about anything, and seem to be more on the same page with humor than we ever have been. Over the last several years, I’ve realized something: there has been a transition from me telling him things, to me asking him things. His work, in health care, food service, and firefighting, has taught him more about life in his 20s than I have at 60.
I adore them both.