Growing pains for all ages
There have been a number of teary parents lately, as they drop their children at school.
Some are sending their little kindergarten kids off to elementary.
What big changes in the lives of their little people! They must navigate a bus ride, a big school, and encounter all different types of people on the playground. Parents spend hours worrying about 1001 things. Will he forget to eat his lunch? Will she wear her coat outside? Can he learn how to wipe his nose? Will she make friends?
Parents try to find teachable moments in their children’s lives. To look both ways to cross a road. To avoid dangers. To learn how to apply all the little lessons that fill up a child’s mind. It is an exhausting exercise, and no parent is ever perfect, but the goal is to help a child to handle all of life’s ups and downs. To learn how to share. To be true to themselves. To says please and thanks. To learn when to apologize for mistakes, and forgive those who make their own. They might want to bubble-wrap their children, and prevent them from harm, but parents need to step back. To say a prayer and trust.
Parents send their children off to middle and high schools. They worry about a child’s image. Will they be bullied? Will they be kind? Will they handle serious encounters? Will they learn how to find a first love? Will they know how to be true to themselves? Once again, a parent must trust. To say a prayer and hope they have taught their child the lessons they need.
One might offer that the ultimate test is dropping off their university students. It’s time to leave the nest and their 18-year supervised life. A new world awaits. Parents want their kids to find happiness. To appreciate life and all the joy that it offers. Music. Sports. Culture. Creativity. Politics. Religion. A wide range. A balance. A meaningful life. The first day on campus is the combined test of ability for social, academic, and decision making. Both parents and children experience a major life change. The morals and life lessons are no longer rehearsals. Now life is in their hands.
The parental life changes. They receive a few loads of laundry. They hear of new characters and conflicts. Hear of new difficulties their child experiences. A parent continues to offer suggestions, but it is now the decision of the child. Once again, a parent needs to offer a prayer and trust.
Parents ultimately teach their children to be strong, independent, kind, productive adults. To find happiness and fulfilment in this big and busy life. To find a place in this world.
Parenting. It is an amazing...exhausting...frustrating...confounding... Know that God has your back. He hears your heart, shares your love and raises the gift you were given.
Good job Mom and Dad!