Turning from the side door that leads to the garage, I waited to hear the car drive away until I gave way to the tears I had been holding back. Why is saying goodbye so hard...our son is doing so well in college and living on his own in a town so far away. Our son has turned into an amazing young man and is working hard on his hopes and dreams for his own life. His OWN life.
I knew before I could even whisper the question, what must be done. Updating my status on Facebook, I asked: When does it get easier sending your adult child back to college!?!?!? This mother hen is having difficulty this morning with the goodbye! Sam has flown the coop, yet again, on his way to Austin, TX. :((((((
22 comments later, it seems I am not alone in this struggle. (OF COURSE NOT...WE ARE NEVER ALONE!) If you are on Facebook, visit the discussion--it brought up some interesting points to consider.
- It may be unreasonable to expect that saying goodbye to your adult child should ever be easy or painfree. As several Mom's pointed out, "they take our hearts with them." Perhaps it is a myth that the goodbye gets easier as time goes by. Perhaps we should expect to feel the sadness...to allow time to recover before we step back into our daily life without them.
- Perspective: I have two dear Facebook friends who are amazing moms. Within the last two months, one lost a son forever in a motorcycle accident and the other said goodbye to her son as he left home following a Christmas visit...to complete his tour in Afghanistan. PHEW! POWERFUL! NOW, I have something to think about other than my own sadness. Perspective offers us the chance to see more clearly...perspective, literally, clears our muddied vision and thoughts and navigates us to emotional balance...to peace...to gratitude...to joy.
- Where do I end...and where does my son's life begin? Interesting question? I wonder how many mother's struggle with this dilemma when their children become adults. I think....MANY. It's why we resist letting them grow and learn from their own mistakes. It's why we micro-manage, enable, and overstep their rightfully earned boundaries of adulthood. The real question I ask myself today is "Why do I feel so empty, so purposeless, and such loss when my adult children are not home?" Clearly, the fact this feeling exists, demonstrates I have not accepted where I end...and they have begun! ;)
When does it get easier....? In 22 comments I learned PERSPECTIVE is so important...NO...PERSPECTIVE IS ESSENTIAL to navigate through our emotions. As I thought about both of my FB friends, I smiled as I remembered the joy we have shared together and prayed for them as I brought their pain and loss to God. Honestly, the raw pain in my stomach was gone...before I was done praying. Interesting how that works. :)
When does it get easier...? In 22 comments I learned...what I already knew before I asked the question: I have more work to do. I need to step boldly into the life that God has purposed for me. No wonder I was floundering in those moments after he left--I was expecting to stay in a life that does not belong to me....and refusing to step back into the life that God has purposed for me.
- Just one more bullet point: Surround yourself with support. One of my favorite comments was simply: "You pressed his wings, now he can fly STRONG!!" Oh...I knew Sam was prepared to return to Austin, I knew he would be just fine, for his early adult years have proven just that. But I needed to hear it...SEE IT...to remind myself that NOW is his time to soar. Kinda makes me smile with pride and gratitude for the blessing of Sam's life. Soar, my son, SOAR~
In the coming weeks, Partners In Prayer For Our Prodigals will be dedicating posts to "Saying Goodbye." If it is difficult to say goodbye to an adult child or loved one who is doing well, the dynamics of saying goodbye to a loved one who is a prodigal are painfully more complex and complicated. Let's examine "Saying Goodbye" so we will no longer be an obstacle in our adult children's life. It's Time To Say Goodbye...let's learn to do it well :) Will you join me? Post any comments or questions that may have come to mind after reading today's post...and we will tackle this together!