A funny thing has happened on our way to becoming older parents: We may find that our grown kids have acquired wisdom and good sense. And now, as we age into our more senior adult years, they share their gravitas with us (though some of their over-protective counsel during Covid was a bit overbearing as I posted here.) Many times, though, they become our guides to making difficult decisions.
I was reminded of this when I bumped into a friend I hadn't seen in years. Now a widow, she was telling me about her son--I had last seen him when he was a toddler--who was now a physician in charge of a major healing center at a hospital across the country. When her husband became gravely ill and hospital-bound, my friend desperately wanted to bring him home to care for him. She was trying to figure out how to reconfigure their home to make it possible to care for him there. When her son flew home for a visit, he assessed both his father's condition and the house and told his mother what she didn't want to hear: It couldn't be done. There was no way his father could come home and be cared for safely and comfortably.
Her son's words and advice--"Let's find a really good nursing home for dad"--helped her acknowledge the best course to take for her husband's well-being. He died within a few months, but she was able to oversee her husband's care at the nursing home and spend much of every day with him.
When we face difficult choices, we are fortunate when we can lean on our children for sound advice. At some point in our lives, the good-counsel balance shifts slightly and our children become our valued advisors. We are able to reap what we've sown.
painting: Picasso, Still Life