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My children are finally grown adults

Most of my readers know by now that I was a single parent of three children, two boys and a girl. One of my children was born in Ghana, West Africa, and the other two were born here in the United States. Up until recently only two of them had children of their own. That all changed a couple weeks ago when my youngest son and wife were blessed with a healthy baby daughter. There was something strange about this birth. It finally hit me that they were all grown.

Of course, I knew they were adults, out on their own and doing quite well. But the new addition to our family forced me to realize that they were mature, able to make responsible decisions on their own without my intervention. I have no idea why it took me so long to come to this realization. My kids have been out of my home for many years, and I have been a grandparent for 13 of them.

Like most parents, it is difficult to let go of our children, no matter their age. It is a bond that is difficult to break, and under normal circumstances is nurtured until we die. It is when you have children that you truly can understand the saying “blood is thicker than water.”

The birth of my new grandchild took me back to raising her father and his two siblings. I became a single-parent of three rambunctious kids at an early age. When I think about it, I had a good time as a single parent. My kids would probably say that I was a mean parent. I would probably be hauled off to jail today because of my approach and beliefs related to disciplining children. I truly believe in the “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy.

In terms of being a single parent, the most difficult time I had was in raising my daughter. Having done so reminds me of actress, Jane Fonda, in the movie “On Golden Pond,” about a daughter who was always in conflict with her dad, played by her real father, Henry Fonda. The pair had a contentious relationship for so long that they had forgotten the origins of the disagreements.

Raising my children was, to me, a full-time responsibility. They knew that it was my duty as a parent to take care of them daily and to ensure that were loved and protected. I didn’t have holidays and sick days, or vacation days away from being a parent, I took the responsibility seriously.

Like most parents, there are three things about raising children that can easily become a major source of arguments — homework, household chores and cooking. I included cooking because my children developed sign languages and signals at the dinner table to express their disagreements with what I considered was a meal.

The recent addition to our family also forced me to realize that I too have gotten older.