Sometimes their new grown-up lives take them far away from the cozy nest you've lovingly built for them, stick by stick--making daily (or weekly, or even monthly) in-person interactions with them a thing of the past. Phone calls are great, and FaceTime or Skype sessions are even better. But it's not the same as having them in hugging range all the time...not even close. [Sigh...]
And the years really do whiz by (even though while you're in the trenches it seems that some days are much too long and bedtime can't come fast enough!). That Kenny Chesney song, "Don't Blink"--so true. So very true.
HOWEVER, I want to tell you what an indescribable joy it is to watch the children you raised strike out on their own and make their way in the world, to watch them figure out how to do all the things their mom and dad used to take care of for them. Heather, a fellow mom of mostly grown sons, put it perfectly in my combox yesterday: My pride in them far outweighs my longing to gather all my chickees back into the same nest...I used to tell first time moms that they would be shocked by how intense their love would be for their baby but it's a feeling you can't explain until you experience it. Having grown children is the same... every time they repeat a tradition from childhood or call to ask for a recipe or eagerly share old photo albums with girlfriends... my heart just bursts!
What she said.
If you're currently surrounded by wee ones who won't let you out of their sight (even to go to the bathroom!), and you're already sort of dreading the day they'll fly away from you, thinking they won't need you anymore, trust me on this: your kids will always need you. Our boys still call their dad often, for advice about finances and building things and whatnot, and they (or their girlfriends/wives) also call Mom for recipes. They want to pick our brains about parenting ("Did you and Dad ever let us cry ourselves to sleep when we were babies?"). They still need us, and I think in a way they always will; but they're leading their own grown-up lives now (all but the baby, who still has a year of college to go), and they're handling everything beautifully. We couldn't be prouder of them.
So. For all you moms reading this whose nests are currently quite full and who worry about what it will be like when they're emptied out, I want you to know this: there are SO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS in store for you when your chicks are independent grown-ups, so many blessings to look forward to. I can't stress that enough and I can't possibly list them all here. But I thought I'd give you a few examples (from the perspective of a mom with all boys). And I'm going to let the pictures do the talking.
You'll watch your boys fall in love, and see them happier than you ever knew they could be...
And they'll always love their mommy, no matter how old they get...
There is a season for everything in life, and you know what? I like where I am. The nest might be empty, by my life is very full. God is so very good, isn't He?
But before I go, a note to my boys: there's a house for sale just down the street--I mean, if it's favorite status you're after...(Just kidding...I think.)