I was going through family photos and came upon this one of my mother and brothers. She looks almost feral. Children can do that to you. When I had my two, I remember thinking, all I have to do is get them to the age of eighteen safe and sound and then I'll be done. It seemed a tremendous task, and I needed to know there was a finish line. I didn't come to that assumption on my own. It is the fairy tale we spin to give parents the heart and the energy to carry on. But, as anyone with grown children knows, the fun is just beginning at eighteen. Many of my friends' adult children are suddenly lost, or sick or bankrupt or heartbroken. This pretty much means the parents are back where they started, and scared to boot. The hopes you had for them as children are featherless and on the ground. I am reminded of a line in the movie Parenthood. Jason Robards says this of parenting: "It's like Aunt Edna's ass. It goes on forever and is just as terrifying."