Practically everything I do is for them. This has been true for 20 years now, ever since my son made me a mother. People wrestle with their purpose in life, but I don't, really. As soon as I had children, I understood that they were my purpose, and my supreme goal is to help them launch their lives in the best way possible, to help them grow to be good and caring people, able to take care of business and of themselves, even as I labor to craft a net under them that makes them unafraid to soar. I always felt that my parents did that for me. I was an emotional sort, full of internal storms, but somehow, I always knew they were there, a port I could go to if all else failed. Just knowing that meant that all else never failed, a beautiful irony. But now, as my children get ready to fly, I am beginning to understand my purpose and devotion to them in a new way. The best thing I can do for them now is to fill my own life with interesting pursuits, to keep growing and doing and being, not through them or for them, but for myself. This is what they need from me now, from my husband and me. This will be the source of the freedom they need to navigate the next stage. My own next act will be born in that freedom, too.