Where is that manual – The one on raising kids? Do you have one I could borrow? My baby is somehow 5’9″ and 17 years old or something. And I feel like she’s supposed to know so much more before I just let her go. This can’t be right.
Lauren is a SENIOR in HIGH SCHOOL which means COLLEGE is ELEVEN MONTHS away! The all caps are meant to convey my fear/excitement/disbelief. Did you catch that?
I have been so looking forward to this launch for her. 100%. I’ve been so confident. But my knees are buckling just a little now and my heart is being squeezed.
It’s crunch time here. I’m scrambling for all the tips, lessons, values I feel I should have already taught my girl before she goes into the world. I’m not ready.
Instead of confidence, my brain is glitching in pop-up mode flashing pictures from 2002 when it was just Lauren or 2005 when she was in the Princess stage. I can’t disable this as easily as I’d like.
On top of my mental malfunction, have you heard the Michael Bublé song “Forever Now”? It is perfect and beautiful and torturous all at the same time.
Among many lessons, parenting has taught me that holding two emotions at the same time is not only ok but maybe even necessary. In other words, it’s ok to be excited and sad at the same time about Lauren going AWAY. Maybe I can use these next few months to remind us both of that.
Funnily enough, from where I’m sitting, I can see a sign I painted years ago. The kids always bug me to tell them which arrow they are but it’s my secret to hold.
Psalm 127:3-5 says, "Children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth."
Okay, okay… Scripture is doing for me what only the word of God can do; quiet the brain noise.
I painted the the sign on purpose to remind myself that my children are arrows. Arrows aren’t meant to be kept. And I, Jason, WE are the warriors. It’s our job, as parents, to pull the arrow out, carefully aiming her in the right direction, pulling back and then letting her go.
Well, now I’m crying. And I’m good with crying because they’re happy tears, proud tears, excited tears, and sad tears.
I’m a wobbly warrior who cries, doesn’t always get it right, loves fiercely and dang it I am excited to see my first arrow fly.
P.S. Lauren, if you’re reading, I’m sorry if I get crappy sometimes over these next few months. Being a mom is hard. Loving you is easy. Trust you know where to aim. Keep your eyes wide open, your heart too. Know Daddy and I are always here for you.