These weeks with schools starting are filled with beginnings…and endings. Another school year begins and we are reminded that our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors are moving along in life. We too are moving along in our journey.
For some, especially parents, I believe that it can be a time of mixed emotions. Where has the time gone? How did summer fly by so quickly? How can they be growing up so fast? For some there are the mixed emotions of relief that their children/youth are back in a routine, back to a schedule, back to school lunches and activities. For some the regret of time that has passed and missed opportunities that will take some time to process and perhaps let go. Our sons are young adults and yet, still our beloved sons.
We may be challenged to trust others as we bring our wee ones to their first day of school. Trusting that they will be okay without our presence for the day can be a challenge. For some it is the task of taking our young adults to college. I get teary thinking of those days gone by.
If I need to explain why these moments and days of letting go are so challenging, I believe it would be like this:
1. I will miss our sons. My whole being loves them beyond words. They are our flesh and blood, the great love we prayed for, rejoiced when birthed and long to stay close to.
2. I worry that I may not have done all I could have to prepare our sons for the world they will now navigate in without their dad and/or I by their side. I worry that I missed an important lesson that they will need to survive. I know we did the best we could with what we knew and had at the time, but I will still ponder if it was enough.
3. I never want them to feel lost or alone, frightened or afraid. I am certain they will have these times as we all seem to, and the reality is that I cannot keep them from this pain, nor do I really desire to as it is in these times they will also find the core of who they are and I trust, God’s grace and strength.
4. I will miss who we are with you as a family. Every time one of us leaves, we as a family are changed. We become less day to day with one another and I will miss that.
I do not worry that my sons will be okay. I have no doubt that they will survive and in fact thrive. We have worked to prepare them for the journey of life and witnessed as they have fallen and they learned to get back up and try again, they have learned to work hard and be proud of their contributions. They have learned the meaning of team and family and faith in the truest sense. They are caring men of integrity and compassion. We have focused on them embracing that all of us are created in the image and likeness of a faithful and loving God, we are all gifted. I have tried to teach them to listen with the ears of your heart to others, to hear them as people who want many of the same dreams we do and to know they are loved and prayed for…always. So yes, as another school year begins, I pray for us all as lifelong students of faith and life.