I had a long discussion with my YS about parenting and its pitfalls. I told him that he was going to be a great Dad when he decided to have kids but then I followed it with this caveat....when your son/daughter gets to be a teenager they are going to think you are really stupid. It is part of growing up, it is implanted in their genes to make them leave the pack and strike out on their own. It is a very difficult thing to live through both as the parent and as the child. I watch the baby birds this time of year follow their parents around hounding them for food. It is like the parents cannot eat without the babies being right next to them with their mouths open and their little wings fluttering making the parent feel guilty about every morsel they keep for themselves. Of course eventually the parent gets sick of it and flies off and never looks back. They eventually have no choice but nature planned it that way. It is all a part of life.
My eldest pulled away big time and it hurt me so bad that I thought I would die. He married a girl we did not approve of and had two children (who are awesome!). It has been years since the wedding. Years filled with anguish, resentment, hopelessness and finally acceptance. The truth is that he has the right to pick his wife and live his life and I have no right to stop him. My parenting days are over but his are just beginning. Years ago I stopped trying to 'fix' things and just let the chips fall where they may. Eventually he noticed that I was no longer knocking at his door and begging to be let in and he started making his own moves toward reconciliation. It has worked out well for me but I have to be honest.....when I gave up I really gave up. Whether he came back to us or not did not matter as much as the fact that I needed to retain my dignity and I needed to attend to my marriage (which was sorely hurt by my constant attempts to fix things).
I take the fact that your eldest is on your side to be a true plus. Remember that what you focus on expands and focus on your eldest and your GC and your DH. Go out there and enjoy your golden years!!