At some point in our relationship you grew up. And as you did you took on more and more roles in my life. At some point you became less dependent on me and I became more dependent on you. You became a confidant. You became a role model. And you became my friend. That is a cherished and valued relationship for me. It was hard to let go of your childlike tendencies. It was hard to watch some of your failures. But each of those moments made us as close as we are today. And that friendship has been worth every heartache.
But that relationship isn't done growing. We have a whole lifetime of evolution still. There will be more ups and downs. There will be more struggles and more heartaches. And I pray daily that there will be more friendship.
One of the biggest struggles you and I deal with is control. Your dad pointed out to me this morning that so much of what you are doing right now is trying to be in control. We all deal with this. Work and school and church and other responsibilities dictate so much of our time. There are very little areas even in our adult life where we truly get to feel like we are in control of our finances, our emotions, or our choices. Keep in mind that I am not trying to control you. If I could or should have stopped you, I would have never let you serve a church mission. I would have never let you move across the country for school. I would have stopped you from declaring a major that seems fun, and tried to force a major that could guarantee 100% success 100% of the time. These, and so many others, are very adult choices that you made on your own. They take you further into an independent world. And they are reminders of how much our relationship really has changed. But these were your choices. And they were good ones. And even though I was terrified, even though I was worried, I trusted you to make them. It wasn't easy letting go. But I did. I resisted the urge to physically lock you in a room and pretend you were still a teenager. I resisted the urge to shelter you from any and everything that could have happened. That urge was there. And I resisted.
There are many more of these adult choices coming. And they are yours to make. I will be terrified, and I will be worried. And sometimes I will see the picture clearer than you. Sometimes I will bite my tongue and let you fall. And sometimes I will do everything I can to guide you. Because that's what I do. I do not subscribe to the idea that a parents job ends. Ever. Not when a child turns 18. Not when a child seems past hope. I subscribe to the idea that families are forever. And I subscribe to the idea that I committed to be your mom for exactly that long.
Please remember that my need to defend and protect you will never go away. Not because you are a child. But because you are my child. Regardless of your age, your success, your marital status, or your emotional state. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are mine. And that kind of love just doesn't fade.