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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nothing makes a mom reflect on parenting more than having her child go off to college. Suddenly 18 years flash before you, and you wonder if you have really done your job. Or you lament because you know you haven't done it well.

It's the eve of my second child's departure for college, and I have a myriad of emotions. Joy, sadness, the full gamut. I am painfully aware that once she leaves this house, our relationship will forever be altered. Never again will I have the same degree of influence in her life (though with her strong will, I never had the total control I wanted. She once scoffingly referred to me in a diary entry as "she who must be obeyed"). I'm overwhelmed with sadness for all the things I intended to do yet never did. I am not sure if she really understands the deep love that I have for her.

Yet I am joyous also. Isn't this what we, as parents, shoot for? We spend 18 years preparing them for the day when they can spread their wings and fly. And I know for sure that my daughter has the ability to soar higher than my dreams can take her. So for any parent who, like me, is releasing their child to the adventures of the collegiate world, let me offer these words of encouragement:
1. Remember that they really do hear the things we tell them. They know right from wrong, and will choose right more often than not.
2. We love them, but God loves them more; entrust them to His care.
3. Even if there are issues between you and your child, their entrance to adulthood offers
new opportunities to form rich ties.
4. Accept your mistakes but also be gentle; we do the best we can with what we have, and
somehow our children survive.

Hope this helps. Happy launching!

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