Psalm 127:3-5 – Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Time passes quickly. First you have these beautiful babies on loan to you for a season. Then the babies become toddlers, and toddlers become children, and children become teenagers, then children become grownups and walk out the door to find their own dreams for life.
We’re so proud of our kids when they graduate from high school and then from college if they choose to go there.
We’re so glad that our grownup children choose to be part of our lives, but they live their own lives miles away or just up the road and hardly have the time to stop by.
The house your kids grew up in becomes quiet. Oh, so very quiet.
It happens that way and then all you have is the memories to cherish. You become a TV watching mom. Where the characters in your show become a kind of family. Sort of silly, but you try to walk around an empty house and then tell me how it is to let go of the reins of your children’s lives.
Sometimes they come to you wanting advice and sometimes they come to you just to be in your company.
Warms my heart those baby steps.
It’s a season when you get to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. Some choose to travel, if they have the money; some choose to open a business or try their hand at writing about all those baby steps.
It’s a beautiful life having been so blessed to hear the laughter and the tears. You hug your grown-up children and must step on your tiptoes just to look up at them.
How do we keep those wonderful memories and move into our dreams? Yes, we finally have time to do so instead of washing dishes and mopping floors to clean up from all the mess those blessed children made while they were taking baby steps.
AArp.org in their article, “How to Cope With an Empty Nest,” give us some ideas on this new season thrust upon us. Their moto is: Stay strong, talk to each other and (maybe) get a dog. I like this last choice about a dog. My dog helped fill up where my children left empty. Baby steps became the sounds of clicking nails as my dog came bounding into the kitchen. They helped me get out of my apartment and meet neighbors and create new friends who instantly fell in love with my dog.
It creates a new family dynamic these baby steps. The article above suggests to not lose touch with old friends. It’s especially helpful if your friends are also going through “empty nest.” Go to the movies or join a bowling league together. You’ll find something to talk about and certainly laugh about what with your gutter balls and flying balls into the lane next to yours.
Whatever your choice is, don’t get down in the dumps and cry all day long because your kids have left home and are building their own lives.
Besides, sometimes with time, there will be baby steps running into your arms. Those wonderful grandbabies that you can love on and spoil and then send back home to their parents.
Yes, baby steps and children turning into grown ups is a good thing. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.