Recently I saw the best meme that truly spoke to my heart in that moment:
Sadly I cannot find it after an exhausting search (I’m sure it will pop up after I hit “publish”) Anyhoooo, basically it was a realization that when our kids were little and we fretted about naptimes and lost sippy cups—please don’t be milk—-that was hard. Raising a young adult…….next level. Comparing apples and oranges though. Every seasons have their challenges, different, but challenging nonetheless. All about the various stages in life and the pain in letting go into the next season.
With a 11,13,16 and 18 year old, we are on various levels here. Middles schoolers. Another licensed driver. Senior year and adulthood colliding at the same time. It’s real. And it’s hard! Not terrible, just hard as we all navigate through these life changes together as a family.
You know, you just raise them up: “please”, “thank you”, look ‘em in the eye when speaking, rules and consequences. BOUNDARIES. All that jazz. Our entire parenting life has been all about the boundaries. I’m here to tell you that we totally wing it as we go, but overall have been pretty consistent. And then. 18 came. The restlessness began at 17 in truth. The itching to grow and spread those wings. And we loosened those strings up. Looking to our own youth of what we did and how we turned out. Some good, some not so good and some just plain lucky.
Then 18. A switch to self-paced learning to finish up the senior year and he did. In 5 weeks. He will walk at graduation in the spring, but school? It’s over.
A switch in jobs from a killing-time job at the tennis courts to assistant at an electric company with plans on apprenticeship in the fall. Maybe 10-15 hours a week to full-time, be at work at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. It’s on.
A motorcycle. This kid and his toys. His success in life will give life to his love of toys.
Decisions. Some good. Some not so good. Letting go of control for this Mama and Papa has been cuhRAZY hard. Truly. The number of tears shed, sleepless nights, anxiety and general turmoil in our family has been unreal. Talk about stepping out in faith and letting go to see if the foundation we have prepared is sand or rock. Praying that mustard seed found some fertile ground.
Now. Let’s put it all in perspective.
It lasted about a week. Or 2.
The big stuff anyway. There will always be little stuff. We are imperfect people after all.
BUT. The kid has turned his heart to listening to advice and the parents are letting go and trusting God to continue to carry this 18 yo wise (in his own eyes) man in the palm of His hand, whether that 18 yo knows or recognizes or cares. He is in control. Not he. Not we. HE.
Our family and friends have been amazing prayer warriors and sharing wisdom, helpful tidbits and shoulders to cry on. When the phrase “it takes a village” was coined……..this was our village in action. To the rescue. Again.
It’s a day-to-day deal.
Praying without ceasing.
Let go and let God. Repeat and do it again.
Lord, if I only knew how easy those sippy cup messes truly were.