It's always a joy watching your children reach different milestones. We think back fondly to when they started walking and talking when they were really little, and the days they started school, got their drivers licence, moved out of home, graduated, began their career ....and the list goes on.
It's great when they have academic achievements - seeing them do really well at university and then move into jobs where they are using the skills and the education they received is very gratifying. In this world of uncertain employment it is a relief to see them not only working, but working in the fields they trained so hard for.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Those milestones are all wonderful, but for me, one of the most special moments wasn't seeing them achieve career goals (although that still warrants a high five) it was watching each of my children find that special person to spend the rest of their life with.
JARED AND HANNAH
Our son was a typical engineer - he loved his cars, he had some really good friends, enjoyed video games, played sport and generally did "boy" things. We began to wonder if he'd ever meet a girl who would catch his eye and make him want to settle down. Then we got a phone call one day saying he'd like to bring a girl down to meet us, and (to say the least) we were a little bit stunned.
On the day they walked through our front door, we were even more stunned - Hannah was this beautiful, tall, graceful, gorgeous young woman who our son was obviously smitten with. She turned out to be as lovely on the inside as she was on the outside and it was no surprise at all when Jared snapped her up and married her.
Being the mother of the groom was a midlife milestone for me - to be included as a part of their big day, to watch their joy and share in the celebrations was so heartwarming. Seeing them commit to joining their lives together "til death us do part" was the sort of thing all mothers hope their children will find. We had a real sense of peace that they were so right for each other.
|Our son Jared and his lovely bride Hannah - September 2011|
ERIN AND LUKE
While we were happy to see Jared so settled, we worried about our daughter, Erin, who had been through a tough break up with her boyfriend and a bit of a life meltdown. She had taken a semester off university to come home and recharge her batteries. It must have been hard for her seeing her brother so happy and settled while she was feeling so uncertain about her own life. Fortunately the resilience of youth kick back in and before we knew it, she was ready to relaunch and head off again.
A few months later she headed back up to the city to start a new year at university, she moved into a share house, made new friends and life was looking settled again. Then one day out of the blue we had another one of those phone calls where we were asked if we'd like to meet a young man that she had re-met through facebook (modern romance at its best!) She and Luke had known each other through high school, re-connected and fell in love. He was exactly what she needed - and we could see how much he loved her too. In a very short time they were engaged and before we knew it, there was another wedding to look forward to.
|Our daughter Erin and her husband Luke - December 2012|
FOR BETTER AND WORSE
I know the cynics out there will talk about divorce statistics and how out-dated marriage is today, but it's not how I see it. There are no guarantees in this life, who knows what the future holds? What I do know is that if you find someone who makes your heart happy and wants to spend their life with you, it's worth the risk. Love and marriage are what you make them and it's not my place to be handing out advice or speculating on what might or might not happen to my children and their spouses in the dim distant future. No, it's my role to encourage them, to love them and to celebrate moments like their weddings because they are another aspect of why this stage of life is so lovely.