As you read this today, and listen to Day 3 of the No More Perfect Kids Focus on the Family broadcast, Mark and I will be moving our youngest son into his dorm at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
There’s a mix of emotions churning inside of me. I’m happy for Austin’s new opportunities. I’m sad I won’t see him everyday. I’m happy for a new season of freedom for Mark and I. I’m sad that our house won’t be filled with the laughter of Austin’s friends as often as it has been.
I bet you’re there too. Oh you may not be sending your youngest off to college, but maybe you have one starting preschool this year. Or headed to all day kindergarten. Or middle school, junior high, or high school.
Life marches on and you and I have to move ahead whether we like it or not. I, however, do have the benefit of having been here before. I’ve sent four children into adulthood and even though Austin is our fifth and last to head there, I know that these transitions are actually more gain than loss.
- You gain the ability to deepen conversations as your kids grow older.
- You gain the opportunity for meaningful moments with your child.
- You gain beautiful memories to look back upon.
- You gain insight into who God created them to be.
- You eventually gain friendship as your kids head into adulthood.
It was a little over a week ago that I whispered to Mark as we snuggled on the couch, “Hey, in just a little over a week it’s just you and me.” He responded with, “I’m looking forward to that.”
The next day our 27-year-old son who is currently living in Chicago but getting ready to make a move called and said, “Hey mom. My last gig up here in Chicago is Aug 19. You’re moving Austin in on August 20, right? I’m going to help you guys move him in and then could I just ride back to Bloomington with you guys and stay at the house for a bit until my plans are solidified?”
“Of course, you can,” I responded.
So much for the concept of the empty nest. I’m learning it’s more like a revolving door!
What about you? What transitions are you making? Can you see it as a gain rather than a loss?