No One Tells You

Julie Ballantyne Brown
3 min readDec 4, 2022

When your kids become adults

Photo by Octavio Fossatti on Unsplash

All of my boys will be home for Christmas. I’m pretty excited.

Actually, we’ve been fortunate to have them home for Christmas every year, I just haven’t had them all together since late summer. Middle Child is living with us. Oldest Child and Bonus Daughter are living on the other side of the country now for Oldest Child’s school. Youngest Child is an hour and a half away, also at school. It’s a much shorter distance, but still.

It will be a bit crowded and there will be times when they get irritated with each other, or with me (Somebody empty the dishwasher!!!), but it will be wonderful to have them all at home for Christmas.

When my kids were growing up, I was concerned about how our relationship would change when they were adults. Like all parents, I made a ton of mistakes when raising them. There are definitely things that I wish I could do over, or that I could have handled differently. I worried that my kids wouldn’t want to have a close relationship, that they would fly away and not look back as soon as they could. So far, though, it’s been a really wonderful thing.

I’m not going to lie, parenting is a tough gig, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But there are moments from when they were growing up that are so precious, so wonderful, that I would do it all over again a million times just to recapture some of that magic.

Things like rocking them to sleep in my arms, or seeing their absolute joy on Christmas morning. Sloppy kisses, just because, and them coming to snuggle in our bed after a bad dream. Hearing, “I love you”, in little voices for the first time and their spontaneous hugs. These are things that I miss and that I mourned the loss of as they grew older. (I will forever miss their little heads sleeping on my chest.)

But what people don’t talk about as much is how wonderful this new relationship is. I absolutely adore the adults versions of my boys. I like them as people, I enjoy talking with them and just hanging out.

I still worry about them, of course. That won’t ever stop. There have been some health issues and concerns besides the normal worrying that make me kick back into “Mom Mode”. But things are definitely more relaxed since I don’t have to be a rule-enforcer…

Julie Ballantyne Brown

Future London resident. Follow Julie on Twitter: @BrownBallantyne or on FB and Instagram: @JulieBallantyneBrown