When my eldest daughter was born 23 years ago, I remember holding her in my arms when she was just a few hours old. My mother was standing next to me smiling.
My mum was never one with wise words of wisdom when I was growing up, but this particular time she shared some wisdom that at the time I took no notice of, and actually thought what a strange thing to say to me.
My mother looked at me and said, “remember Nigel, your children are only on loan”. I was a little shocked at this statement, and distinctly remember rolling my eyes and thinking whatever.
Now some 23 years later I know exactly what she meant because your children are indeed on loan. At some point in their lives their reliance on you becomes less and less until eventually they find their wings and fly. It’s that moment when the realisation that your babies simply don’t need you for everything in their life anymore. That they can make their decisions without having to ask you for advice or guidance.
As I have already said my eldest daughter is 23 years old. She is currently living with her partner, and yes I speak to her three or four times a week, and will generally see her once a week. The reality is she doesn’t need me like she used to when she was younger. She has moved on and is now responsible for her own decisions and actions.
My second eldest is 21 years old and very recently qualified as a staff nurse. She lives and works about a two hour drive away from where we live. There are not many days that go that we don’t text or phone each other, but again she is now moving on with her life and making decisions for herself.
The third of my older children is my 19 year old son. He is in university, which makes it slightly different because he still relies a little bit on me for varying reasons, but those reasons are slowly diminishing.
My other two children are my six year old twins. They are still for the vast majority of their lives reliant on my wife and I, but of course over time that too will change.
So all those years ago when my mother told me that your children are only on loan, and I rolled my eyes in disbelief, she was exactly right. Now I understand what she meant. Yes, they will always be your children. That never changes. They just don’t need you in the same ways. They have become adults. human beings in their own right, with their own opinions and beliefs and making their own decisions about their lives.
Quite simply they don’t need you. they are self sufficient. It is as if you have loaned your children. raised them and off they go into the big wide world.
Yes! My mother with those pearls of wisdom was right, your children are on loan.
I would love to hear what you think.