Well, as the mind of a mother may do, when I wrote my last post Which Road Will They Take I forgot to include some added information. So, I decided another post will do the job, and I think it works even better. As I watched my kids graduate and saw the emotions throughout the weekend unfold, I realized that what I incorporated into the Dragon Courage series happens in real life! We give children benchmarks when they are able to move from child to adult. This coming of age is important. They need it to see themselves as adults, and the parents need it to see how their children have grown up and matured. We give them more freedoms after they graduate. A graduation ceremony creates a point in time for the parent/child relationship to change and mature. Without this ceremony, many parents would hold onto their children and not let them fly the nest, or as the case may be–push them out of the nest! The children would be constantly pushing for freedom and who knows when they would receive it.
This arbitrary point in time may be a bit soon for some children and not soon enough for others. My seventeen year old son is non-pulsed about the whole graduating business. It’s another day in a line of days in his life. Nothing spectacular. My nineteen year old daughter was quite ready for the event to happen. I’ve known a sixteen year old who was ready and did graduate and move on to college. She became the youngest certified paramedic in the state of Oregon. Each child is different, but each needs this marker in his or her life to say, “I am an adult”.
In the Dragon Courage series, coming of age is a big theme. My riders vary in ages from 25 in Dragon’s Future to 22 in Dragon’s Heir to 18 in Dragon’s Cure. The theme holds true–each of the dragon riders need a point in time to see him- or her-self as an adult. The final book takes this theme to the extreme and Kyn creates an event to help the young riders prove themselves capable of the responsibilities and privileges of a full-fledged rider.
So, whether you’re a dragon rider or a regular human being, at some point in time you’ll need to be able to say, “I’m an adult”. Is this a graduation ceremony, a youngling challenge, or just a parent giving you a gift and saying, “You’re a man now” or “You’re a woman now”? That depends on your background. If you’re a parent, consider what you can do to verify and confirm your child’s maturity. With our now twenty-one year old, my husband gave him a gift that our son would cherish. They had a talk about the responsibilities of manhood. Later, when our son messed up, my husband was able to refer back to the gift and the implications behind it. Our son came to us and agreed his actions were not in accord with an adult.
I can’t say that it will always go easy–this parenting thing–but it will have its rewards. For those of you who are old enough to be parents, but don’t have any kids of your own or their all grown up, consider acting as a parent to some young person. Take them under your wing and be a parent to him or her. You’ll find that it is just as rewarding.