I have no idea how I got to this point in my life, yet here I am. My children are almost grown. One is just starting college; the other has just completed Graduate School. My children are nine years apart in age so I have lived quite the glory land with both of them. Except for about nine years in between, they were both able to experience being an only child. And I have been able to experience motherhood with a child still at home, headed into my Fifties. The curve ball to all of this is that if my children are almost grown, and I am almost fifty, well then my parents are well into their seventies. There within lies the Catch 22. I like everyone else my age that is lucky enough to still have both parents living, is also experiencing another “parenting” experience of a whole different kind. Some days, I am the parent to four individuals instead of two. Years ago I watched my Father help complete his Father’s life in his last years. It’s difficult to help people that have always been strong and independent. Because even when they are no longer either of those things, somewhere in their minds, in spits and sputters of time, they still are and they resent being treated as if they are any less. They learn to deceive, evade and avoid all questioning. They hide information to protect you and in their minds, to protect themselves. They don’t want to be “tended” to, and they would rather that you mind your own business. They know what to ask at their doctors’ appointments, they do not need reminders from us. It’s a tightrope that I walk. Show concern, but not too much, ask questions, but not delve too deep, to show compassion without it appearing to be pity; and to know that my day will be here soon enough. Will I be as difficult? Most likely. Will I demand respect? Absolutely. Will my children be able to handle it? I’m hoping how they were raised will shine through at a time when it may be needed the most.