My husband and I didn’t have a lot of experience as husband and wife. Our roles as a married couple changed, however, when within six months after getting married, we found that our first child had been conceived. We really became parents nine months before our son was actually born.
I remember the birth of each of our children. I have four, and that means four different experiences for me and for my husband. Not to mention, during each of the pregnancies I faced different worries and concerns.
Then they came, each healthy and beautiful. Those were the most important four days, ones my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives on earth.
As they grew, we started to see how each developed his and her personality. We would watch eagerly as they showed more of their strong character traits while they observed the world and adjusted themselves to their new surroundings. Strength is also coupled with weakness, though. This, too, we watched, and we would jump in when the children struggled and couldn’t help themselves.
We nurtured our children, and we watched them grow. When each child explored a new territory we explored with him, too. As they grew, our experience as parents grew along with them.
Then, one day, our children were grown, and we were two aging parents. It slowly came to us: our children didn’t need us anymore.
I can’t help but feeling useless. My husband and I gave our children everything they needed for their basic tools. They went off on their own, and they added newly found knowledge and experience in their bags of tools. We started to hang back as the older the children became, the older we were, too. They can now figure out what life will bring to them on their own. This has changed our roles completely.
It isn’t about us raising children, anymore. Instead, it’s about what our children will do with their lives. We now sit in the chairs of supporting characters, waiting to see what they –the directors of their own lives- will bring.
I know the day will come when we will even retire from our supporting role seats. That will be when they are completely in charge, and when they have children of their own to raise. Even though I feel I have become useless, it is not entirely a bad thing. Looking back at the whole lifetime, from having brought children into the world, and nurturing and caring for them, until the time they are grown up and have lives on their own, really is a lifetime’s work- and it is as big an accomplishment as anyone could ever have.
I am a proud useless person.