I’d be lying if I said it gets easier. Two out of my four are leaving for college this weekend, and I’m trying my best to keep it together. All I have to do is walk by their slowly emptying rooms before the tears begin to well up.
God created this role of motherhood to be a strange and beautiful journey. You spend the first half of their time at home pouring into their little lives the wisdom you’ve gleaned, clinging to their little hands, whispering into their eager ears stories and tales of who they will someday grow up to be. The latter is full of standing close by as they make their own choices and grow into who God created them to be, all the while praying they make it in one piece as they navigate through the driving lessons, broken hearts, and friendship dramas.
Then this moment right here- the jumping-off point into the wild unknown of their fledgling adult life. Woah, momma. It will come in a blink of an eye. Faster than you can imagine, they will pack up their childhood, fold up their years of dependence, and tuck them away into the boxes they will take with them to their new home away from yours.
The whispers and giggles that once filled their rooms will be left for you to collect as you sort through what they chose to leave behind. Pictures, souvenirs, books, and old sweatshirts will remain for you to keep watch over for when they come back for brief visits home between terms.
But then they come home. They seem taller, wiser, a bit more knowing about the world. The same sweet grin that mischievously signaled trouble would be there as they ask for you to do their laundry. Over coffee instead of cocoa, they will tell you if their adventures, their triumphs, and their struggles, all that happened without you there to walk them through it, will make your heart swell with pride and comfort. They are doing well, no they are doing better than well- they are thriving and growing. You will see that the Lord took those early years you thought were going to do you in- the sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the potty training- and turned them into something more than you ever thought or imagined. What a thrilling and heart-pulling role is motherhood.