Hope and Maddie have been spending the week with their grandparents. I'm so happy for them - I think that having relationships with your grandparents is special. I kind of missed out on that, and I'm thrilled that they won't have to.
But, I'm missing them. I'm walking around thinking to myself that it feels kind of lonely around here - at least, very quiet. And I'm thinking, am I going to be one of those empty nesters that sends their kids tearfully off to college and then doesn't know what to do with themselves? I'm not, well yes to the tearful part, but not the other part. That doesn't stop the question from running through my head though.
As a homeschooling mom, I have the privilege of spending a lot of time with my kids. Not all of it is easy, but I really do relish it. I love knowing them. And, they are a very big part of my life right now. I wouldn't say I'm dependent on them though or have some unhealthy reliance on them for my own personal satisfaction or happiness. I just really like those kiddos.
We raise our children to leave us. I once heard a person say that, or I read it, or something like that. But it is true. My intention has never been to hold on forever - I want my kids to go and chase their dreams and have their own families and fulfill whatever it is that God has planned for them.
Sometimes letting go is not easy. I think maybe it is a control thing. Right now, I'm not in control of my children. I can't be sure they are eating healthily or practicing good safety. I can't be an extra set of eyes and ears and hands for them. That is really uncomfortable. Not for them, but for my own vulnerable heart.
But, I have left them in the care of people whom I trust. I know that my parents love my children and are able and willing to take extra good care of them.
This is a small step of practice for the days ahead when my children will be grown and will leave my home to make their own. Those days will be tearful, I'm sure, but happy tears. I'll be releasing my kids totally to the care of the most trustworthy, most able, most loving One - the same God who has been trustworthy with my own life and even now watches, protects, and prepares my children in His grace.
I'm grateful that because of Him, I do not fear. But, I'm also grateful for the chance to practice letting go a little here and there along the way - I like to think of the cutting of the apron strings less as a painful severance of a too-tight knot and more as a slow, gentle, peaceful loosening.