Friday, December 2, 2011

The Comforts of Home

Let's take a moment to gaze into your child's future.  They'll head off to college and the real world, making their own way and leading their own lives.  At times you may think they've forgotten all about you as they focus on building their own career and finding their own path.  Occasional phone calls or e-mails are all that link you to their thoughts, or so you may believe.  While I'm sure they cross your mind a dozen times a day, you feel severed from their lives.  And so it should be, to a certain extent.  Once your children reach adulthood and enter the world, they cease to be completely under your wing.  You can still influence them, but they must make their own decisions and pay their own bills.  Yet it must be hard to see someone you've raised since infancy face the potential terrors of reality on their own.  The sharks of the business world and the snatching claws of the biting taxes morph into horrible monsters in your mind's eye.  No parent wants to send their child out into the teeming dangerous waters, yet it cannot (and should not) be stopped.  All you can do is prepare them as best you can and then turn them loose with a prayer and luck.  Through the ensuing years, you may grow distant as they enjoy the excitement of life on their own.  They will relish the thought of creating their own rules and determining their own lives.  Hopefully, of course, your training will help them order their own lives with regularity and good sense.  Regardless, there will be a time (whether long or short) where your child will draw back from you to a certain degree.  You won't know everything going on in their life.

While this sounds tragic and depressing, there are a few glimmers of hope.  Firstly, you should rejoice in the fact that your child is making it on their own rather than swinging from momma's apron strings for the rest of their life.  Furthermore, while they may seem distant for a while, believe me that they will inevitably draw closer to you once more.  Homesickness sets in at some point, and they will want nothing more than to snuggle with you on the couch, drinking cocoa and reading stories just like you did when they were little.  A longing for the comforts of home will creep into their hearts.  While they understand they can never really go back to those days, the memory of their childhood will return sweet and wholesome.  All of your advice and instruction will gain new meaning as they learn what it is to be an adult.  I could go on for pages about how your children, long after they have grown, will want to come home and be kids again.  They'll want nothing more than to know that you are there, and that everything is going to be alright.  So wait for that day.  Pray for your children.  Advise them as you can. And be ready with waiting arms when they open themselves up to you.  Know that they love you deeply, and once they've gotten past the stubborn "I can do it all myself" stage, they'll realize how much they cherish and treasure your love and helpful comfort.

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