In June my second son will be moving the tassel, graduating from high school.
It’s a little different this time. My first son finished high school as a home school student, with minimal fanfare. The school my kids are attending now has all the pomp and circumstance they can muster up for a high school graduation.
Not only is our time before he leaves limited, but even our time together now is scarce.
My son is waiting to hear whether he was accepted by his dream schools — and whether they offer a financial aid package to make those dreams a reality. But my reality is that very soon he’ll be going off to college and our family dynamics will be changing again.
Our time with him under our roof is short.
How many Sundays do we have left, our family filling a whole pew as we worship together?
How many family dinners? How many more Taco Tuesdays?
Not only is our time before he leaves limited, but even our time together now is scarce. School demands a lot from him. College and scholarship applications demand the energy he isn’t giving to school.
Time is scarce, and it is also precious.
And the logistics of life are demanding a lot from me — especially with other kids at home, including a precocious preschooler and toddler who never sits still! Living overseas seems to double the time routine errands take. Time is scarce.
Time is scarce, and it is also precious. This is a unique season in our son’s life. He’s making decisions. He’s seeking our guidance. Our relationship has been shifting over the years, and we are his trusted advisers. Yes, we are his parents — but he is also growing in his independence.
For our family, the pace of change seems to be snowballing.
Nobody mentioned when I was having babies in quick succession is that they would be flying the nest in quick succession.
One thing nobody mentioned when I was having babies in quick succession is that they would be flying the nest in quick succession as well. People always reminded me, “Oh, the time when they are little goes so fast.” But they never told me that just as much as my hands were full with toddlers and preschoolers, my heart would be full but my nest emptying as they became adults.
We have sons graduating this year, next year, and the following. Soon we’ll have four kids in college and graduate school.
So many of you are in the same season of life — but perhaps not multiplied by as many teens as we have. Whether you have one teen at home or several, we are in this together. This is our one and only chance at these years.
Whether you have one teen at home or several, we are in this together. This is our one and only chance at these years.
Your other children may have already flown the nest — or maybe the next ones are barely verging on the tween years. Are feeling the same tension I am feeling? Are you feeling that urge to connect/reconnect with your teen during this time of transition?
We can’t turn back the clock. As much as I treasure my memories of when the teens were younger, I really don’t want to return to those years. Yet I feel the intensity of the time now — how am I going to find the energy, how am I going to make the time to really connect with my teen?
Toddlers and preschoolers are easy. Well, maybe not easy — but I know how to mother and nurture that age. I’m on a new journey now, really focusing on being connected with my teens.
The time is short, and connection is vital. I believe we can make these the best years of parenting yet. We can resolve connect as we journey towards letting go.