I recently read a quote by Denis Waitley:
“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”
With it being May, the big graduation month, I can’t help but reminisce over each one of my children’s’ graduations of past years. Each one was so different and unique and each one brought tears to my eyes.
Now this Empty-Nest-Mom is feeling all sorts of emotions. Being without kids in the home is an amazing, freeing, terrible and lonely time in life. I struggle with balancing those emotions some days. I am finally at the point in my life where I can re-discover my likes and dislikes, my dreams and most importantly I can fully develop my relationship with the LORD.
I think one of the hardest things for me is breaking out of my habits and past schedule. Now, in my life, I can eat outside the time-frame of breakfast at 7:00 a.m.; lunch at noon and dinner at 5:30 p.m. I can eat cereal for dinner and I can throw a small load of laundry in any time of the day. I don’t have to wait to get my list of things done around naps (unless it’s my own) soccer games, equestrian events and 4H meetings. It’s my time now. So, if it’s my time, why is this so hard to do? Then it came to me; I am trying to rearrange 18+ years of doing life one way to adjusting to my new life over night. That is an unrealistic goal. It takes time.
Suddenly, within a blink of an eye, I am stricken with an empty home; time to myself and I’m not sure what to do with it. Suddenly my laundry is not piling up, my dishes aren’t overflowing and I’m not squelching arguments. Tears are shed; I don’t know how to nurture myself, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Why are the tears flowing? Plain and simple; I miss them and its okay.
But…then I realize, I have to let them go. It’s the circle of life. They have to become independent taxpaying citizens…doing what God has called them to do. I choose to give the tears this day over to God because our God in heaven knows exactly how I feel; He gave up His one and only son who died for the sins of the world. Suddenly I’m better. Please don’t ever feel that these feelings are stupid or that no one knows what you’re going through. God does! Remember He sent HIS only son.
Let’s cope together. What do you do to get through those tearful moments? I journal and I chronicle my thoughts then I read the Bible. I spend time with friends and cherish time with family. I love those BBQ’s and grandchildren events. I am amazed when I hang up the phone with one of my kids and look down to see that we had been chatting for over an hour. I really love when my husband & I can hop on our motorcycle and go for the day without thinking about what the kids are doing at home. But some days the old ways of thinking still creeps into my brain and I realize that you never really stop being a parent.
Summer is upon us; kids will be home from school. Take the time to enjoy them. Embrace the large loads of laundry, the endless sweeping of the kitchen floor and constant trips to the pool. Go to the T-ball games with a smile on your face and water bottle in hand. Slather them with sun block over and over again because within a blink of an eye, they will be gone. I know that’s a cliché, but it’s true.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old and he will not depart from it.