And the day finally arrived. The day I have to drop my daughters off for college. The day to move them in — hauling boxes, moving furniture, hanging pictures and folding clothes. The day to realise that this is the start of a new season… a new journey for all of us. It is time to say good bye after a (can I call it wonderful?) year of having them both home. Time to say good bye to girly giggles on the drive back from school, shoes and hair ties scattered around the house, long hours next to the netball court cheering them on. It is time for them to leave the nest… to fly… to soar. And for me to take a back seat and watch them thrive.
There are two things we should give our children:one is roots and the other is wings.Author Unknown
But as you may yourself have experienced, this is easier said than done. We returned home yesterday- the home to countless sleepovers and movie dates, brownie baking marathons and early morning coffees around the kitchen table. Home of wonderful mother-daughter heart to heart talks and memories. And yes I cried… I cried so often, I thought my tear ducts would dry up completely.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)
These were not necessarily sad tears, just mama tears filled with mixed emotions, coupled with the reality that my little girls were growing up and this new season of life was here to stay.
It is hard to leave behind the idea of hands-on parenting; realizing that this time they are on her own, soaring, dipping and diving 900 miles away without me watching. I have to reconcile how to shift from full-time to distance parenting with my girls, and thinking about how to avoid smothering Janneman that is still home. I have to let go.
After years of being so intentional about raising your child well, it is hard to take on a new role. Yes, there will be an adjustment in the relationship. I will no longer bear primary responsibility for my daughters. But I am reminded that we have trained them up and now have the joy of watching them grow and learn in adulthood.
Maybe the real challenge of teaching our children to soar is teaching myself. Teaching myself to let go of control and to entrust them to God, who loves them far more than I ever can! As moms, we want to keep our kids safe, protect them from pain, fix their problems, make their decisions and steer them in the right direction. However, there comes a time when we realize we aren’t in control anymore and have to accept that our children’s futures are in God’s hands, not ours.
What a comfort and peace it brings to remember God is always in control and ever present in my children’s lives, even when we can no longer be.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (NIV)Isaiah 40:11
So as I am writing this, I pray for their safety and happiness. I pray that they will grow and flourish, that they will remember their roots and find their wings to fly, to soar! And I cannot wait for their return back home! When I can fill the kitchen with their favourite dishes and sit around the table, sharing in the stories of their new life. I relate to the the quote of Charles Dickens: “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” I have joy, for we will meet again.
I love you. – Mom