Friday, June 7, 2013

We Have Grown Up

I remember the discussions that came from our
young and naive selves.
It was our idea of "family planning".

(Remember the '90's?
It was what you did.)

We decided that we should have more than one child,
they should be close together in age, 
we would raise them.
Then we would enjoy our couple time
for years to come after they grew up and 
were not our responsibility anymore.


Those of you who have already walked the 
road we are walking are laughing
with me right now, aren't you?

It all seemed so cut and dried.
Kind of like when I was pregnant for the first time
and made plans to allow the teenagers at church
to babysit my then unborn child.
Ummm, no!
That didn't happen.
I was super protective of my baby and he 
only got to stay with family members for the longest time.
But, it seemed like a great idea
as long as he was safely tucked in my womb.

The Lord is in the process of prying 
my fingers off the daily lives of our offspring.
This is not easy or fun.

We couldn't be more proud of the three
young people that call us their parents.
They are all pursuing new and exciting adventures.

They are all "leaning in" for more 
family time before they take the big leaps
in their futures.

It warms my heart that we are a close family.

It also defies that plan we came up with so long
ago that was so emotionless and cold.

Raise them
and cut them loose.


What was I thinking?
Why didn't I watch how our parents didn't 
stop worrying about and caring for us?
Good grief.

For my many friends with young children
it doesn't necessarily get easier.
I know, 
people told me that and it didn't sink in.
It really can't until you are here.

I would encourage you to do everything in 
your power to capture those young hearts.
One of the best things we did was to work hard 
to see our children as individuals.
We sought out their strengths.
We came to a realization as they got older that 
they were amazing people in their own right 
and we made a real effort to treat them with 
respect and consideration.

We are not perfect parents.
No one is.

But taking opportunity to talk late into the night
if necessary,
or planning road trips not as much for the destination
but for that time in the car so you can 
chatter away about all sorts of things. 
Sometimes just sitting side by side
with tears streaming when one of them hurts.
Laughing together at family dinners
and welcoming their friends into our home.
Staying connected.....
in this world of electronic disconnect.

These are some of the things that 
have strengthened our relationships.

The Bible speaks about parents not 
exasperating their children.

Its a fine line.

Parenting doesn't stop as they get older but 
the role definitely changes.
You still have your rules and expectations 
but they get fewer and less specific.
At some point you just have to let go and trust.

So having said all that
here I sit waiting for the clock to tick to 8:00 am
and for Jonathan to make his first solo drive home 
from his overnight shift in a vehicle that is new to him.
Am I worried?
Not really.

Am I concerned?

Praying that he stays awake and aware.
They say that driving tired is a lot like 
driving drunk.
So....I'm praying.
My clinging fingers are loosed a bit more
and I will breathe easier when he is home
and sound asleep for the day in preparation
to do it again tonight/tomorrow.

As you know
Chelsea and Mikey will begin their big 
adventures over the next months
and we see the beginnings of our nest emptying.

(I pictured the nest emptying because they 
married and moved into a house nearby not 
going to the other side of the world for school, 
missions and the army.)

It is good.
It is as it should be.
But if one has done their job
it also comes with some much pain.

For our little charges have grown 
into likable adults.

We will miss having them with us.

However, we will cheer them on
as they take these new and exciting steps 
without us.

You know it was kind of nice for 
Warren and I to go to Tennessee
as a couple. 

Perhaps this won't be so bad........

P.s.   For the record, I don't think we would have kept to
our original plan to stop having children if my body hadn't
given out.  We love being parents!


Vee said...

The Lord is doing His work not only with your children , but also on your heart. I'm smiling to see the wisdom in your words. We can relax because God Himself is in control and He will take care of His children. He has no grandchildren after all. You and Warren make some plans, do some things, enjoy your relationship...because the childrearing years are few compared to the years you'll enjoy together just the two of you. It's not meant to be a stagnant or unproductive time...God still has great plans for you!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I have enjoyed every stage of my kids growing! Well, except one stage with one kid, but other than that....!

The great thing is when our children are walking with the Lord and following after Him. Joy!

Loosening those apron strings is a challenge, and we continue to grow through it all.

I am a better person because of how HE has used my kids in my life to shape and grow me. I know you believe the same thing about yours!

I love to watch what God is doing!


Gayla said...

Such a true post. Nothing is as rewarding as parenting in my life... Although I know many very happy, rewarded childless couples... But the worry... Ahem! Concern very much changed from the perils I could fix somewhat to those that were out of my control....and a bit none f my business... I have tried to become a mom who listens more than bosses.... Who says ----go for it ----more than ---- better not.....

You are doing a super job.

Elena said...

So wonderfully said!