"Point your kids in the right direction—when they're old they won't be lost." (Proverbs 22:6, The Message)
My kids went back to school today. The house is empty, the weather is beautiful and my computer and keyboard beckon. I should celebrate, right?
Don’t misunderstand, I’m thrilled my kids are back in school and we’re returning to more predictable routines. Lord knows their minds greatly need intellectual stimulation after a summer filled with far too much Facebooking, Sims creating, texting, iTouch gameplaying, and other forms of electronic gadgetry for my taste, and probably their own good.
Throughout the summer I suggested/implored/beseeched/commanded, “Why don’t you read a book/play outside/ride your bike/do a craft?”
“Moooom!” my tuned-out teens retorted in exasperation. “It’s too hot.” “No one’s home.” “I’ll be done in a few minutes.” “Later.” They’ve developed an impressive arsenal of evasion techniques.
So yes, part of me is doing the Wave to celebrate that my progeny are safely ensconced in their respective academic institutions.
But part of me is melancholy. I’m becoming increasingly aware that with each new step toward independence taken and each grade started, my little chicks are getting closer and closer to flying to coop. Sooner than I wish to imagine, they’ll be on their own. I want to freeze time. To savor our moments together. To hold onto life as it is right now.
I find it incredibly ironic the phase of parenting I dreaded most—the teen years—is the phase I’m enjoying the most. (Although technically my son isn’t quite yet a teen and I suspect his teen years are going to come with their own unique challenges.)
Next year we’ll start to look at colleges with our daughter. Didn’t we just choose a preschool? How did time pass this quickly? (*sniff*)
Before I break into full blown sobbing, suffice it to say the start of school this year is bittersweet.
It's our jobs as parents though, isn't it—to prepare our children to walk on their own? I hope and I pray that Dan and I are pointing them in the right direction...and that they continue to follow. For this we need to rely on God's guidance and faith in His provision.
In the coming weeks I'll be reordering my days, wrestling with my time management issues, reconnecting with friends and getting back to writing with enthusiasm and a new sense of purpose (at least I hope so).
What are your back-to-school thoughts and plans?
Today also marks the end of my Thirty-ish Days with God. Stop by tomorrow for my observations and thoughts on the experience.