You can learn a lot if you let life teach you. I've had to raise my white flag constantly in 2012, as my daughter is starting to leave the nest, wanting her freedom, and learning to become more and more self sufficient as she prepares for college life.
I can't deny we've had some painful days, gut wrenching weeks
and frustrating times this year, but it's made not only me, but her stronger.
The changes in her started right around the time she turned 17 in January.
I was confused, scared and sad when these changes started happening and certainly
not prepared, as I've heard she hit this phase late.
But like I teach Madelynn to let life teach her, I had to do that myself,
and I found that surrendering to the process, and trying to understand it
was in my favor. It was in her favor.
And we've become a good team despite the growing pains.
Learning to let go, as you continue to guide and parent in
these last years is one of the toughest things
you will go through as a parent emotionally.
I've had my fair share of sensitivities. I mean I was 20 years old
when I had this baby girl, she has been my everything! And up until
this year we didn't experience much relational hardship.
(I even asked some of my blog friends that could relate--some advice because
I was having such a hard time and I was so sad). I started to learned that it wasn't
about me at all when she started to pull away, or not want to hang out
with me as much. Or even when she was down right rude, I knew I couldn't
take it personally. I mean I've raised this girl with blood, guts and glory I tell ya,
starting off as a single mom for many years, has it's
extreme challenges. And you form a bond that is indescribable
compared to kids with both parents. Our bond is a deep, strong, beautiful one.
But what it once was has run it's course and it hurts. It's hard. And I have
to move on. In one year from now, she won't be downstairs sleeping. I won't be making
her a lunch every night. I won't be able to sneak down in her room after she's been fast asleep to
pray over her. I won't be able to hug her when she walks in the door after school. I won't
be going to Band concerts. I won't get to see her sitting at the kitchen table
doing her homework, while I'm in the living room reading or crafting.
There are countless losses.
I honestly can't imagine next year at this time and how my heart will feel;
it's unfathomable to me.
But I have to believe and eventually embrace, the new gains.
The new life that will birth.
We are all on a journey as parents, or students, or wives, or as singles.
And life, as I once knew it just simply won't be. I will
mourn it deeply.
But I hope and pray that my wisdom, life lessons,
relational, intentional, loving, fun, kind, gentle, merciful, graceful, joyful,
forgiving, polite, respectful, godly, encouraging, supportive parenting will gently
see her off to college, and into her life as an adult. One can only hope that their children
as young adults and adults will carry some of it in their hearts and minds.
I've got one amazing girl, and I vow to continue to raise my white flag throughout her
last year of High School, and to be a peacemaker, and never give up on reconciliation
no matter what we go through. Because those two things alone, are life giving.
And I want nothing less for her.
Today we had donuts before her first day as a Senior in High School, and with her large, very large hot chocolate in hand, giant smile on her precious face, and her purple back pack, my eyes swelled as she got out of the car and said, "Thanks for the ride Momma, love you, have a good day!"