Empty Nest and Thinking of Your Grown Kids Post Pandemic (an opinion piece)

With any luck With a lot of work your child will grow up and be confident adults.

Sure there will be times when your grown up kids flounder, feel insecure, worry about their futures, get disappointed, fail at jobs and relationships, and just have no idea what they are doing. But they’ll learn.

Even though they’re grown, you’re still their parent. You’re still there for them. Let them know that the best thing they can do is learn from their mistakes and move forward. Adult life is a continuous path of trial and error, but the more you continue along the path the more you know and the better it gets.

I know that sounds easy. Right? Of course it isn’t easy. It is frustrating, and painful, and even icky. On the other hand, sometimes it is exhilarating and freeing.

No matter how old you are, hopefully you continue to learn from your experiences, good or bad.

The other day my daughter texted me, “I’m glad you didn’t raise me in a shit hole.”

She’d been traveling in a city where men frequently feel the urge to cat call women – and it is the norm. She was disgusted, as well she should have been.

Was that a learning experience? Of course it was. What did she learn? It just reinforced the fact that she has value, that she isn’t a piece of meat, and that nobody deserves strangers to throw unwanted sexual comments or advances at them.

I’ve known young adults who have recently been navigating the job market. There is so much trial and error and resilience going on with these kids. Dare I call them kids. It upsets me to no end those who love to talk shit about young people. Our younger adults are navigating new territories that we never imagined. They had their entire world upended with the Covid-19 Pandemic in ways that it didn’t unending older adults. The amount of creativity and digging and drive I see is amazing. I also see a lot of frustration and sadness. That is to be expected. It is ok not to be all sparkling rainbows and unicorns all the time. Let young people know it is ok to express their disappointment.

They’re ready for change, but not in a shallow way. They’re angry. They’re frustrated. They’re seeing red. They’re also hopeful and working hard. They’re thinking. They’re discussing. They’re volunteering. They’re not just talking. They’re doing.

So as a parent of adult children I’m hopeful and I’m so in love with younger folks. We all should be (in my humble opinion.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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