I've always pictured myself as not really changing - I certainly don't feel any older than I did ten or twenty years ago. Maybe I'm a bit slower, or I forget things more easily, but I'm still the same me.
Another part of me that hasn't changed is the "mom" part, at least until this past week.
My daughter and I had the opportunity to spend a day together on Friday. We used to hang out a lot - less when she was in college, still less after she got married - and we'd have the typical mom/daughter type outing. Both of us are pretty opinionated, both of us are pretty much always right and both of us have no problem expressing ourselves with one another. But this latest outing was different - I felt different.
I no longer am the mom that tells her daughter what to do in a roundabout way. She makes decisions on her own now. I no longer am the mom that tells her to put money in the bank or what to do with her paychecks. She is financially independent and makes good money decisions. I no longer am the mom that picks out what she should wear or gives a disapproving stare when she holds up something that I don't like. She is a young woman with two jobs who is perfectly able to decide what clothing to buy. So for me, this realization was a bit startling. I'm still her mom but I have a different role now. I'm there to listen to her talk about her life, but I no longer need to tell her how to live it. I'm a valued second opinion on whether or not the shoes really go with the skirt, but she knows herself and her style. I no longer have to worry about being more of a parent than a friend - she's pretty much grown up now. I can comfortably be that friend.
I'll be working in the garden today. Pulling up weeds that seem to never go away. Smelling the orange and lemon blossoms. Marveling at the flowers that are returning from seeds we randomly threw out last year before the wedding. Sort of like the new part of my role as a mom - discarding those old pieces of what we were that no longer apply to how we are now and nurturing those beautiful pieces that we can enjoy now more than ever.