It’s a big week. One of my closest friends and I stood next to each other during worship at church this Sunday, with tears rolling down our cheeks. Our kids were born three weeks apart… and this is the week we are moving them to college.
I was fine until I realized move-in was less than one week away. Suddenly, I started realizing what that would actually mean. It wasn’t just that we wouldn’t see her running downstairs in her PJs every day, watch her come alive on the volleyball court, or have long lunches talking about all the little things going on in her life. It was that, very soon, we might not necessarily know about some of the big things going on in her life. She would be making new friends, walking a campus we didn’t intimately know, and diving into an area of study totally unfamiliar to us. (Sorry, kid, can’t help you with your Industrial Engineering homework…)
In a few days, we will be moving her into a room on campus…not really knowing if she will ever be moving back to a room in our house. We will hang things on walls, help her put her stuff in drawers, give her a huge hug, and drive away—leaving her to start a wonderful new season of independence, and us to start a season of watching and cheering her on from afar.
A friend once told me, “To have a child, is to have your heart go walking around outside your body for the rest of your life.”
Which is why Jeff and I and our friends found ourselves tearing up on Sunday. It’s a joyful sort of grief.
I know many other moms are feeling the same thing this month. So I wanted to share a blog I saw recently by my friend Jill Savage. Blessings all you dear moms.
FROM JILL SAVAGE:
Dear Momma who is letting go this month:
I know it’s hard. I know it feels like a part of you is walking out of the house.
It doesn’t matter if you have a little kid heading off to kindergarten or you have a big kid heading off to college, giving them wings to fly is hard.
I know you’re thinking of all the things you didn’t teach them, all the crafts you didn’t make, all the snacks you didn’t serve, all the times you weren’t patient, and all the moments you didn’t listen as well as you should have.
I know you’re feeling all those feels because every mom does in some way. She’s hardest on herself and when it’s time to let them fly, the “should-haves” seem to rise to the surface more than anything else.
Let me tell you sweet friend that you did well. You weren’t perfect, but you did your best. Our kids need an imperfect role model because they are imperfect themselves. God used your imperfections to perfect you and your kids.
As you let go this month, send them off with a wave and then take that arm just a little further back to give yourself a virtual pat on the back.
You’ve worked for this day. Your job has been to work yourself out of a job–whether that’s for a few hours a day as you have one heading to school or whether this is the launch into adulthood.
Remember, you are a mom, but you are also a woman knit together by God with passion and purpose. You may have lost touch with that along the way, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You just have to find it again.
Now give them wings and watch them fly. You’ve done well and there’s so much joy to be found in the next season!
Jill Savage is a wife, mom, nana, author, speaker, and mentor to mamas and marriages. She loves all things peanut butter, but Jesus even more than that! You can find Jill online at www.JillSavage.org.
This article was originally published here.
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Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her latest book, Find Rest: A Women’s Devotional for Lasting Peace in Busy Life, focuses on a journey to rest even with life’s constant demands.
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