We have experienced a lot of milestones and growth in our family. There are a lot of things we have learned that I then share with others. Many of these are things I wish I had understood as a young parent like my kids' milestones would result in disrupted sleep, and labels are helpful. There is a lot I still don't know. Rory will be 16 in less than two weeks. He is strong, thoughtful, mature, and independent. I don't worry that he will figure out how to live his life as he wants to. Will is 13. We are working hard to teach him how to adult. There is a long road ahead of him toward learning these skills, though. When he last had to make a phone call, there was significant anxiety. He still has no desire to learn to drive even though we are only about a year from when he could begin driver's training courses. This concerns me. Rory wanted to learn to drive by the time he was about 10! Will is still too scared to consider it. We have begun talking about Will getting a job in the next year or so, too. But his difficulties with expectations, tasks, personnel, and more mean the ability to maintain a position will be more challenging. He doesn't do well with difficult people who can't learn to speak his language. While we try to prepare Will for driving and the workforce, we have to consider Mack and Kae and their worlds for the future, too.
I am confident Rory will carve his path over and around obstacles and that he will seek help from appropriate places when he needs to just as he does now. Will currently doesn't want to launch, though. Leigh and I have plans to travel the world when our kids move on. If Will doesn't move on, will we feel good about leaving him behind? If Will isn't secure, who will take him in when Leigh and I can no longer help him? While we begin to explore these, somewhat morbid, questions, we also must consider continuing to teach Mack how to manage his allergies so when he leaves the safety of our home, he can create and maintain safety wherever he is. At just 7, we have quite a lot of time left to consider Kae and her needs, but all the while we are teaching her how to adult...eventually.
They're just kids...we don't have to worry about this yet...
Except, they won't be kids forever. And if we don't think about their futures, no one else will. So, what do we do NOW to ensure they succeed in whatever future they want for themselves? We're teaching them about money, credit, debt, etc...we're helping them make and understand the reasons for healthy food and activity choices. They have savings. They have insurance. They have survival skills and book smarts as well as the ability to learn. There is so much more than this, though. What's next?!