August 11th, 2007


Deborah leaving home

There's no such thing as perfect parenting, but if you were to ask me for advice, I'd tell you that parenting is all about being consistent and gradually letting go of your kids so that they gain independence and can grow. I'm not sure how well I'm going to go on the latter.

Deborah is soon to move out and go live with a few of her friends. This is a great opportunity for her and I understand her excitement. At the same, I can't help but miss her. (True, she hasn't gone yet; and for all I know I might be over it as soon as she's settled in!)

I love this family dearly, and while Deborah's not my child, she's an integral part of the family and I care about her. It's nice having her around and taking an interest in her life. Part of the reason for building the bungalow was to allow her to grow up and have her own space without having to move out first. So, I think the change is family dynamics is going to take a little getting used to. Hmm, I wonder how I'll be when my own two eventually leave home... Will I be a teary mess, or will I be over parenting by that stage, eager to see them head out into the big wide world?

I remember when I left Mum to live with Dad, and Mum didn't cope particularly well. I remember getting in trouble for leaving it more than a week between phone calls or visits. Poor Mum. And poor Tony, who had to deal with it. :-)

Now, I'm not saying I'll be like that; at least not with this move of Deborah's. I imagine I'll cope just fine, and will quite enjoy the opportunity to eat more lamb, pork and asparagus!

And as far as moving out of home goes, this is the way to do it: she'll be living with friends in the same suburb, not racing off to a distant uni residence or moving in with a boyfriend prematurely. And though she acknowledges that it may not last, she - like her friends - plans to come home once a week for dinner. So I should still be able to catch up with her a bit. In Theresa's case, it shouldn't be like losing a daughter, as they are good friends and likely to be in touch by phone a lot and meet during the day or go shopping, etc.


After writing the above, I spent a couple hours talking to Deborah when she returned from work after 11pm last night. Her excitement was infectious and I felt more inclined to wish her well than to lament her leaving. It's good to see her happy, and I'll be very pleased if - when the time comes - Jesara and Joshua leave home as similarly confident and happy young adults.

Oh, one more thing: even more of a change to family dynamics is the possibility that someone will move into the bungalow vacated by Deborah. Good? Scary? Hard to say. But interesting, certainly...