I listen as my young adult child expresses grief over a life moment transition. A friend is getting married and moving out of state. A mixture of emotions elicits a flood of tears. This person is the last one from a group of friends who is moving on to new territory.
These friendships often form through jobs or college. The circles become confidants, support systems and contribute to a sense of identity. In some ways, they morph into a family system with whom meals and holiday celebrations are shared.
But, in this season of life, friendships take on different forms and purposes. People move onto new jobs, transfer schools, or move. Once again, change appears in this season of predictable unpredictability.
As I parent of three young adults, I realize how much I wax nostalgically about my own twenty something experience. I loved much about being in my 20’s but there was a lot that felt uncomfortable and even gut wrenching. However, the actual memories of learning to “adult” quickly flicker through my mind.
I remember the impromptu escapades to get late night snacks or dinner. I celebrate the ways we navigated literal new territory around college and apartments. I am grateful for the ways we did life together and were transformed through laughter and tears.
But, I also remember the discomfort of a constantly changing landscape around me: Changing friendship circles, new places to call home, and varying employers. Although, we all experience these moments during our lives, the quickened pace and lack of life experience makes the ground beneath a young adult’s feet feel shaky.
So, let’s do our best to support our big kids as they feel all the emotions during this time. They really do eventually realize we were their age once.