As I get older I realise that a new order in the scheme of things has started, just as I suppose my parents must have done years before.
No longer will I be or should I be the centre of my children's universe or even that of my grandchildren. As my children have grown to adults they now have universes of their own to consider. These include their own children, partners, friends and work. As my grandchildren grow their focus will also change - so I am savouring these times with them now just as I tried to keep all the memories from when my own children were young.
I am enjoying seeing my children in these new roles and I am proud of who they have become and where they are going. Some still have universes to build as they are solo satellites at present but I know their time will come. Some are in relationships that are still new and developing. Some are parents of older children and some of younger babies. But all of them have either become or have the potential to become the suns that hold their universes together until too they age and pass this place onto others.
It is sometimes hard to realise that I have to let go of my role. After all is not a lot of who I am based on being the one that created the gravity that kept all these satellites of mine spinning. What mother would not feel strange to let them spin off into their own space and realise they can quite easily do it for themselves. Some may even say I have held on too long after all my eldest child is 36 and my youngest will be 27 in December. I suppose that really it has been quite a few years of letting them go, one at a time, but suddenly my baby has been out their wandering the solar system on his own for nearly 12 months. He seems to be going a really good job of it too so why did I worry so much.
Of course there are still times when I so want to pick up the phone and say "oh I wouldn't have done that in that way", but who I am to say such a thing really. I have made many mistakes over the years and no doubt will continue to make many in years to come. One thing I am sure of is that all of us learn from our mistakes at some time in some way. It is not to say that there aren't also times when I cringe at some of the things that they say or do, but they are a generation unto themselves, just as we were and our parents and grandparents before. I am sure that each generation of parents have felt the same.
I love the fact that I have a strong relationship with each of them that they still can ask me for advice if and when they need it. I am still happy to help each and every one of them if and when I can because they will always be a part of my universe. And so I suppose rather than looking at it as my universe getting smaller, maybe I should look at it as my universe getting larger but just that instead of being a the centre I now can move out to the outer reaches and enjoy my time basking in someone else' sunshine.
Sorry, I seem to use strange analogies for my thoughts - lion prides and universes but it makes it easier for me to put into words my thoughts.