When my kids were young, I never wanted to go on a trip alone with my husband because I wanted to be there to protect my little ones. When they got to be in high school, I didn’t want to go on a trip alone with my husband, because I knew time was short, and they’d be out the door before I knew it.
When my daughter was home, I’d complain to her about all the glasses she left around the kitchen. But when she was away for the first time at Christmas, all I could think, was that I wished she was home to leave those glasses around again.
This parenting thing. It’s not for the faint of heart.
You cry when they first go off to kindergarten, you cry when they first drive away with their brand new license, and you cry when they leave home.
You want to hold on. At least I do.
But you can’t. The tighter you hold on, the more they want to fly away - never to return. So you have to swallow hard, and open the door.
It’s the hardest thing you’ll probably ever do.
But it’s a gift. We were created to do this. To hand life over to the next generation. To let part of ourselves live on in a new and exciting way. To watch our love take hold as lessons are learned in life and hopefully, our children return to the fold – nearby in some part, or merely in heart and soul.
So you let them go. And you let part of yourself go. But in the process, you learn that there is more to yourself than these beings that have taken up all of your heart and then some for 18+ years. You learn that life goes on. You learn how to think of yourself again. You become stronger.
No one will ever take those places in our heart that belong to our children. Those are precious spots that will always remain dedicated to them alone. But our hearts can grow bigger. They can learn to love on others who have empty spots inside that aren’t filled like ours are.
Part of you will always hold onto those days and moments with the best gifts God ever gave you. And that’s okay.
You are brave, dear mom and dad. You have loved deeper, wider, and further than you ever thought possible. You have invested your time, your thoughts, and your heart into making someone else’s life better. And now’s the time to see the return on your investment. So smile. Watch them go. Watch them dream, hope, learn, and grow. It’s scary. I know. But trust in the One who gave them to you. The One who loves them even more than you do. He won’t let you down. He won’t let THEM down.
It will be worth it. He will be faithful.