This just came in my e-mail from the Henri Nouwen Society. It seems to fit what has happened between me and my children. They are my friends. In many ways they have become my equals and yet are still, and always will be, my children.
Becoming Friends of Our Children
Can fathers and mothers become friends of their children? Many children leave their parents to find freedom and independence and return to them only occasionally. When they return they often feel like children again and therefore do not want to stay long. Many parents worry about children’s well-being after they have left home. When their children visit they want to be caring parents again.
But a mother can also become the daughter of her daughter and a father the son of his son. A mother can become the daughter of her son and a father the son of his daughter. Father and mother become brother and sister of their own children, and they all can become friends. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does happen it is as beautiful to watch as the dawn of a new day.