It’s 5:47 am. Like most days in our crazy, full life, I realize something big’s on the horizon, but I’ve been preoccupied with living life to realize the significance of certain days.

We’ve got a quick shopping day for our college student who’s moving to campus tomorrow. It’s a week earlier than expected. His coach said he can move in if he wants to. His roommate and teammate from another part of the country is coming early. Junior’s ready to go and says yes. We rearrange our schedules to make it happen.

I thought I had a week to prepare for my last college drop off day. This week was supposed to be enjoying my firstborn, the missionary girl who is home on furlough. Her college drop off was a big family affair as we drove 600 miles to the campus where she knew no one.

While today seems like just another day, I know it’s not. It’s the type of day I wrote about in Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. The one where life is moving along fast and furious until the Big Day comes.

Gains and Losses

I’m ready for the Big Day because I’m exhausted. I’m tired from running to sporting events and school programs for the last million years. I’m tired of cooking and grocery shopping and high school drama. I’m looking forward to meals for two, a quieter house, and having My Space. I love the new relationships with my adult kids and time with the Mister I haven’t since really never.

What I will miss, though, are the living memories of what a child in the house brings. The joy of seeing them succeed, the presence of life they bring, and the reflection that you’ve poured your everything into someone other than yourself.

       “We’ve given everything we have to our kids; our time, energy, worry, and love. We’ve made meals, wiped bottoms, dried tears, and done a million things no one has ever noticed. We haven’t done it for the applause.

        We’ve done it because we love our kids with an affection so deep we can’t explain it. It’s the love that makes sense every day of your life until it separates from you and you realize love has a name–the name of each of your children.

       They may never know what while they separate from you and live their own lives, they’re still part of you.” –Brenda L. Yoder, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind.

Mama’s Growing Up

I’ve done three college drop offs before, each with their own ripping away, each one unique for the child. Each time the family grew smaller and our home quieter. But as my kids have grown, I’ve grown too. As their wings have grown stronger, so have mine. I’m ready for an emptier nest. I’m ready to breathe deeper, sleep longer, and just be in this season before moving onto Next. Grandkids, taking care of parents, facing my own mortality.

But now, I need to let go and let God take care of my youngest, so he can grow and soar and fall and fail and figure out his life’s path.

And for me,

“Our hands aren’t empty after letting go: they’re open. It’s from this posture we receive the riches of God’s grace he’s ready top our pour out.” (From Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind.)

 

No matter what milestone you’re facing with the start of another school year, a beginning or an end, open your hand and release your treasure to the Lord. It’s from this posture you receive all he has and your child has the opportunity to grow.

And if you need someone to cry with, purchase Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. Also, join us at the Fledge Parent Forum.  

If you’re a new empty nest mom or approaching the empty nest, join Jill Savage and I for the Empty Nest Full Life retreat and preorder her new book by the same name!

 

Jesus, thank you being with each parent as they release their kids for another school year. Thank you that we can trust you with the lives of our children. Thank you for caring for us as moms as much as you do our kids. Equip each of us to open our hands so you can pour into them the riches you desire for us personally and our family. Amen. 

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