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The day will come
when they must leave the nest.
The day we left our firstborn and her car load of belongings in her college dorm room seemed like only yesterday. My hugs goodbye and cheerful smile lasted until I closed the car door.
I cried for the first 100 miles back home.
That same child left her son, our grandson, over 900 miles from home this week. The picture of him standing proudly in his new “home” reflected his eagerness to launch into this new adventure carving his way into the world.
That’s what life is about.
His parents didn’t just shove him out of the nest. No, they made space along the way for small steps and missteps. They gave him opportunities to speak up for himself and grapple with the consequences of his choices.
I learned that parenting (grandparenting or being an aunt or uncle) has no expiration date. Over and over, we hold tight and let go.
Isn’t that how love envelops, sustains, and comforts us throughout our lives?
The temptation to reminisce threatened to highjack me all week long, but finally, I allowed the memories to consume me. I took unabashed pleasure in looking back at photographs of our three children growing up into the marvelous adults they have become.
The thousands (yes, I know, really) of photographs of our grandchildren made me laugh and smile as I relived those precious moments. One bankcard captured the sentiment—priceless.
When juggling two toddlers and a newborn, I received sage advice and leaned on those words throughout the not-so-pleasant parenting moments.
“Enjoy every stage of their growing up. The days and years slip by too fast.”
Indeed, they do.
No matter the season of life, a heart can hold more than you thought.
In this scene from “Hook,” Robin Williams faces the moment when his wife reminds him, “You’re missing it.”
If you are, or ever watched those little feet walk out the door and want to indulge yourself in an ounce or two of melancholy, grab a tissue to listen to Turn Around (Nanci Griffith), Return to Pooh Corner (Kenny Loggins), When You’re My Age (Hillary Lindsey & Liz Rose), or one of my favs, Let Them Be Little (Billy Dean).
"I didn't want to invade his privacy; I didn't want to fight with him; I didn't want anyone else to ever hurt him. I just wanted him to be a child forever. She glanced up, crying harder now. But you can't do that, if you're a parent. Because part of your job is letting them grow up."
— Jodi Picoult
Find a little wonder this week, and watch out because those children at play turn into adults overnight, or so it seems.
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