When did your children first see you as human? 18



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It’s a strange thing – sometimes jarring, often joyful – to realise the children you raised can now see you as an equal.

The first time they truly got to view me as a normal, fallible human being, it was far from ideal, and far, far too soon. A close family friend had died – swiftly, without warning – and I couldn’t deliver the news without bursting into tears.

Their world had already become a less safe and predictable place; an early preview of what adulthood had in store. I had hoped to be source of strength and stability in that moment. While normal and inevitable in hindsight, and ultimately an essential life experience, it was difficult to accept at the time.

Thankfully, in the years that followed, the concept of becoming an ordinary person in their eyes proved far more positive. It was not a sudden change, but a gradual shift in perception. I could see the revelation unfolding, piece by piece, conversation by conversation, year by year.

The car talks with my son became more and more involved. The closer he got to adulthood, the more his curiosity steered toward my life at his age. He was eager to put himself in both his parents’ shoes. I couldn’t help but swell with pride every time I saw that sense of empathy mature.

But the biggest shift has only come recently, now my daughter is preparing to become a parent herself. Now she’s living the experience, she can truly appreciate the secret every generation keeps: the fact that we’re all making this up as we go along.

When I speak to my children today, I am speaking with friends and equals. I can confess to making mistakes without feeling I’m shattering their worldview, just as they are more comfortable sharing their true selves with me. The transition is still an ongoing one. It hasn’t always been easy, and sometimes the new dynamic still throws me off-guard to this day – but I genuinely look forward to seeing where it takes us.

When did your children first see you as human? How easy was it to process this adjustment?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Probably when they started having children themselves especially when they had to explain the do’s and don’t’s

  2. Oh yes my kids are all 40+ married with kids, very independent from early age, but would ask for advice when younger but not now, they pretty much ask what they can do to assist us and thats nice but makes us feel a little old. They are doing well just as we did at their age, we all like and respect each other and love each. You just slowly grow up can’t put a date on it but having kids helps.

    2 REPLY
    • Well said Christina, my kids are the same, they’ve had experiences I haven’t & I’ve had experience they haven’t, I don’t look at them as less than my equal, they are adults that I am very proud of & class as my equal, I find these days they can even teach me a thing or two.

  3. Oh definitely when they have kids. But they still need their “mummy” when the going gets rough – and that’s as it should be.

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