The end of May signals new growth in nature with bright colors, a bounty of fresh foods, new life and pleasures as far as they eye can see. This is also the time of year for coming of age as graduates prepare to take the first steps on new adventures.
These bittersweet goodbyes have always tugged at my heart. Regardless if it’s moving from the 3rd grade to the 4th or saying farewell to your high school friends at graduation, a feel a ping of sadness. It’s a time of change. A time to let go and embrace what’s to come, knowing you have no control. While this is exciting to seek the unknown, there’s a part that is absolutely terrifying.
I’ve witnessed families let go with grace, knowing that deep inside they want to hold on tight. On the flip side, I’ve seen families hold on for dear life and suffocate their children out of their own fear and insecurities. My perspective has always been that God lends us our children to teach them everything we can, love them with all of our hearts and equip them to contribute to the world by shining their unique light.
My eldest child is nearing the end of his senior year of college. Ready to take on the world and begin his life with all of the knowledge and wisdom he has gained in his 20 some years. I can clearly remember when he was graduating high school. It was so difficult on our whole family. Of course we were thrilled for his achievement and excited for him to begin college; but we grieved what we would be missing, his presence in our home.
While I discovered an identity crisis, more on that another time, we both learned who we were and life bore a new meaning. It does get easier and it’s not the end of the world. From where I’m sitting beginning new adventures in life affects many of you relationships. Take note, allow people to work through things in their own way and give them time. Accept them where they are.
Now, I’m two years away from my baby girl from tossing her hat in the air with joy and excitement. Recently she obtained her learners permit, to drive. No doubt this is an exciting time as she discovers new things and the world is opening for her. What a delight to be part of this journey with her, yet part of me is filled with sadness because I know what will be here in the blink of an eye; a bittersweet farewell.
Perhaps one might think that it get easier with each child passing into adulthood. I too thought that would be the case. When I had my daughter everything else seemed a bit easier, potty training, learning to walk and talk, and on and on. As parents of more than one child, we have a little experience with the first one so when the other children come along we are sort of experts. Not the case here. Some things are easier; we are a little more prepared with the children following our first born; watching your babies become adults and sending them to fly away into the world; bittersweet.
The older they get, the more we as parents become their influence and less of the authority in their lives, as it should be. I’m beyond thrilled for the people my children are and are becoming. They have so much life ahead of them, amazing new discoveries and adventures to explore, without me. I get excited to share in their adult lives and experience adult type activities with them, knowing full well that they are building a life of their own that no longer revolves around me and their dad. The older they get the less they seek permission.
I love my family, they are my legacy, and they make me proud. Where ever you may find yourself today, sending off a loved one to the military, college, or middle school, the future is bright. Take time to invest in your family, and do something just for you. The circle of life is a real thing and one day those little ducklings that depend on you for many of your needs; will no longer need you in the same way (if you’ve done your job well).
One day the tables will turn, who will you be when the soccer moms no longer require your time? Who will be there to share your life with, when dinner time is just for one or two? Sometimes bittersweet farewells are not just saying goodbye to a life you used to know, but saying goodbye to the person you thought you needed to be. Who are you without the labels? Who is the woman standing in the mirror?
Not sure how to answer those questions? You’re not alone, I’ve been there and did EVERYTHING wrong. Take my hand and I can help you redefine who you are and reignite the passion that burns deep inside of you. You have a story to tell, I can help you share it.