Go forth

My oldest is a senior. We just attend his first graduation meeting. He will be 18 in 6 months. My next oldest will turn 16 in a few months. He is learning to drive, and will spend a week away from home for the first time next month for a hunting trip. My third son is turning 13. My baby girl just turned nine. She recently accepted Christ and is soon to be baptized.

Milestones

.

These are all wonderful and important and exciting milestones.

But this morning. I’m a bit teary.

While everything is I listed is positive, it still means change.

Some of this change is rapid. And I plot it out in my mind as my emotions try to keep up.

I’ll have three teenagers in a little more than a month. I’ll have two drivers in 4 months. I’ll have an adult in 6 months.

I’m a bit sad this morning, but I’m trying to switch to grateful. And content.

Through it all , I want to breathe. I want to be so busy enjoying it, that I’m not so concerned about each and every Last.

And truly, it isn’t all nostalgia and tears. I’m so profoundly grateful that I was afforded the ability to homeschool. I get to be with them every single day. It’s going fast, but I’m here for it.

Trusty camera in hand to record all those firsts, and lasts…

I’m grateful my husband has worked so hard that I could stay home with our children. I’m thankful we live in a country where we are free to make educational choices. I’m grateful for the many resources that have made it possible. I couldn’t have done this on my own. Not really. We didn’t belong to a co-op or anything, and our extended family has been less than supportive. But without Zach working his tail off , none of this would have been possible.

I’ve lived a good life. My happiest years have been being married to Zach, and a mom to our four children. I adore motherhood. I am a staunch homeschool proponent. Even on the difficult days. Maybe even especially then.

So if I’m grateful to God , my husband, and my country. If I’m acknowledging that I’ve been able to spend so much time with my children, that has been a huge blessing. If this is all true then why are my eyes still watering ?

I think it’s because I love the man my oldest is becoming. I love the man he is. I enjoy his company. I really like spending my days with him, and I’m not quite ready for it to end.

And in a way. This feels like the beginning of All the Endings. The first to leave the nest. Then I will be graduating a kid every two years for a bit.

Wait. So I have to do emotional life altering goodbyes every two years? This does not sound like a good time.

Last night at the graduation, I was sitting across from the parents of one of Ben’s buddies. His dad said something that I’ve been mulling over . He actually closed the meeting in prayer, and it was a beautiful prayer. In closings, he told God “ we may be a bit sad about this. But we know we aren’t done parenting them. We will continue to be the voice of wisdom in their lives. We’re grateful you gave them to us.”

And that is the perspective I’m trying to have. God granted these precious children to me and Zach to raise. But they were never ours to grasp on to possessively. They’re His kids too.

And, this isn’t really the end. It’s just a new chapter. They may cease to be children, but they won’t cease to be my children, my friends.

So my friend, I thank you for reading this .

And I leave you with this quote :

“Go forth into the busy world and love it. Interest yourself in its life, mingle kindly with its joys and sorrows.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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