Have seen many moms lately posting on Facebook about taking their sons to college and how difficult it is. I also have several friends that are in the same boat. In my humble opinion the reason it hurts so darn much is that we realize they are growing up and that this is just the beginning of them leaving home.
We wonder, did we _________ enough? There are so many “did I” questions in our hearts that leave us wondering if we taught them everything they need to know to go out and face the big bad world out there. I used to feel that our purpose as parents is to take care of our children & provide for them. But I think that is only part of it. Our job is to raise them, teach them & prepare them so that they can become men who can go out and take care of themselves. To be able to provide for their own family someday. That is what we should wish for our sons. Not that they become rich or famous or whatever. But that they find the wife God has for them & become Godly husbands & fathers.
Each child is so different, no two are alike. In my case, none of the four are alike. Actually it would have been so boring if they had been. I have caught myself using the phrase “I raised you all the same” when something does not go along with the “Plan” of their life (whatever that looks like). But that is not possible. Because they are all so different, they can’t possibly have all been raised the same. Hopefully things were consistent among them, but no guarantees on that either. As parents we change too, we are older & wiser (hopefully) and we change and learn different and better parenting methods and skills with each child. It is actually a miracle that ANY of them turn out decent.
There have been people in my sons lives who have made a difference. One in particular that I am thinking of really had an impact on my second son, and then on my third and fourth. My second son is a bit of an introvert (he says he is an INTJ, for those of you who know what that is). He was one that would be with a group, but was usually in the back trying to hide. Or when he started photography, conveniently volunteered to take pictures so as to not be in them. He found many creative ways to be there without being there. Then came along a youth pastor who went after him, pursuing him. And was able to break through to him. I know that he made a big impact on his life. Even though the youth pastor moved, we still stay in touch with him and his beautiful wife. He even renewed our vows for us for our 25th Anniversary. Now they are about to have a baby boy of their own. I know they will both make wonderful parents. But I am sure they both are a bit apprehensive about what is to come. They have the foundation though with Christ that they will be fine. No it won’t be easy sometimes, but I have seen how he pursues & loves my children and other people’s children, so I know he will love his even more.
I wanted to tell you a little more about my wonderful INTJ son. He will be 21 in a few weeks and he is growing and maturing. For some reason the “world” has decided that there is a track that all young people should follow. Graduate HS, go to College, career, wife, family, etc…. But if every child is different, which we have already established that they are, why is there this track that they should all follow? It is OKAY for them not to follow this track, and we need to let them know that. Each child has their own path, their own path God has laid out for them. And if it takes them a bit longer or they go off the path a bit, then that is OKAY! But I am so proud of the progress Stuart has made. One of my favorite things about him is that he has an exceptional eye for photography. He started back in HS and has continued to amaze me. It’s not that the subject is anything spectacular, but it is just his eye and how he sees it. Making for some really extraordinary photographs. Wish I could share them all with you, but I can’t. Enjoy them and while you are at, take a deep breath, thank God for your children, for who your children are and who God is molding them into. Give yourself a break when you mess up, and just love them. And yes, it is very difficult letting them go. But we know Who is holding them.