My two oldest boys, Jacob and Ethan, took a road trip. They packed up our little white car with over 200,000 miles and drove to Illinois to visit grandparents. The oldest being 18 has a need for adventure, and it worked out for him to be able to have one. Ethan is one step closer to independence.
Before we were married we spent some time with our pastor discussing marriage, family etc. Our pastor told us that it was the husbands job to help his wife let go of the children. What truth there was in that statement.
When our children were little their grandparents wanted to have them visit for several weeks in the summers. I always wanted to say "no", I want them here with me. Eric felt it would be good for the children to spend some time with their grandparents, so off to Grammy's they would go. Of course, Eric was right. It was good for everyone. The grandparents got to spoil the grand kids and a bond was developed between the children and their grandparents. My in-laws are Godly people, so my children were also able to learn from their Godly example.
All the good reasons didn't make it any easier for me to let go. Through out the adventure of mothering there are different times when we need to release our children. As babies we let them go when we move them out of our bedroom and into their own room. (I cried the first night I put my oldest in his room), as toddlers we let go when they are screaming at the church nursery door for mama, but we know they will be fine. As young elementary we let go when we put them on the school bus for the first time, or let them sleep over night at a friend's house, then as teens we let them go when we allow them to be out with friends. Before long we have an adult in our house who is studying and preparing to care for a family of his own.
Parenting is one long season of letting go. As moms it is hard for us to let them grow up, we are torn; we want them to grow up, but we still want them to be our babies. So if the opportunity arises this summer for your child to step out into something new, be ready. It will be hard. Pray about it and discuss it with your husband. How will it benefit your child and his knowledge of God? Will your child be safe? Are you just holding on or would this be a good chance for your child to grow and have fun? Will this opportunity cause emotional or physical harm? Is your child ready?
I have not yet gotten to the point where a child has totally left home, but I believe that having my children spend weeks at their grandparents has given me a little glimpse of what our home will be like with children gone. I know it will be difficult, but I'm looking forward to seeing what direction God takes my children in.
I would love to hear from you ladies, your emails encourage me to write. Please email me any questions or topics that you would like me to write about.
In His Service,
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
at 8:05 AM