A Mix of Emotions

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.”

postereveryThe 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? 


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9 thoughts on “A Mix of Emotions

  1. We too are making our fifth trip to college but with twins!! Our fifth trip to Olivet Nazarene University!! And that would of been our empty nest, but we also have a daughter moving home. I was just thinking today of how I am going to miss our kids and their humor that surprises me sometimes! I am going to miss their kind ways (our son went and talked to a homeless gentlemen sitting at WalMart collecting money while we were shopping). I am going to miss them both participating in our church praise band. I am going to miss them taking out the trash and emptying the dish washer for me!! I am going to miss their hugs and smiles!! And I know their sister moving back with us will miss her sister’s clothes!!

  2. So how did move in day go?? Twins have been packing today. They are at their last official night of church “teens”!

  3. As I send one to K (all day, every day) and one to 1, I am struggling with seeing the gains. PreK and K last year were really hard for me, all year, I’m hoping this year is better. Having a hard time with letting go of this season being surrounded by littles and sharing almost every moment with them.

    • Rachel, sometimes we are so wrapped up in our kids lives that we have to untangle ourselves from them and reset our priorities of God first, marriage second, kids third. When things are hard, it’s sometimes a clue to evaluate. As the kids head back to school, I encourage you to take some time to do that and see what you discover.