I have observed a number of times recently that as our children and the children of friends and relatives get older, quite a few parents seem to regret the fact that their little ones are no longer children. They are apparently sad to find that the children who once hung on their every word are now challenging and disputing anything and everything which their parents say. Some parents express this openly, by saying that it is a pity that their children have grown up. I find this faintly shocking. I can't imagine that they would really prefer their kids to remain in a state of arrested development and reliance upon their parents.
I wonder whether this sort of thing is liable to strike home educating parents a little harder? They are often closer to their children than the parents of children who have waved their kids off to school when they were five and then later seen them form close bonds with a peer-group at secondary school. It is true that the house seemed a little empty when my daughter finally went off each day to college at the age of sixteen, but I found this more a matter for rejoicing and satisfaction than regret. I found it all but impossible to do anything else much while I was educating her and her attendance at college has freed me in a way to get on with other things.
I revel in the fact that my daughter is now an opinionated young woman who shows only contempt for my own beliefs; whether religious or political. There would be something a little odd if this had not happened, although judging by what other parents say, some find this upsetting. The whole aim of my life has been to produce a self-reliant person who decides for herself what she wishes to do. Had this not happened and my daughter was still looking to me for guidance at the age of seventeen, I should feel that I had failed in some way. When she goes off to university in the autumn, I shall have the quiet satisfaction of knowing that a job has been completed and I can get on with other things.