There is a beautiful line in the haunting novel The Bear, which is about a man and his daughter who are the last two humans on earth. It comes towards the end. The father is gone. The daughter is older. She is visiting the graves of her parents. “A girl no longer,” the book describes her, “though forever their child.”
We have to remember that while we’re on this journey. They’re going to get older. Someday, perhaps some day soon, they’ll stop being a little boy or a little girl. But they’ll never, not ever, stop being your child. And it’s important to realize that this is what you are to your own parents and grandparents.
This job we signed up for doesn’t stop just because they’re under their own power now. It doesn’t stop even when they make more money than us, even if they become president or a power forward in the NBA. The point of pointing this out is to remind you: You remain on duty, on the clock, always. As we’ve talked about, you’ll go on teaching them with the decisions and choices you make when you’re older, by the example you set. The things you are doing now will go on teaching them long after you’re gone as well.
But as long as you’re alive, they’re still your child and you are still there to serve. And that’s a beautiful thing.