It goes like this….. One minute you are rocking them to sleep, comforting their boo boo’s and wiping their grubby little faces. The next minute they are bigger than you, taller than you, smarter than you and are teaching you about the world and how it works!
How and when did this happen? I mean seriously, it only feels like yesterday they were babies, and now they are creating their own adventures in the world, leaving me in their dust to pick up my breaking heart and wonder what the future holds for me and Phil when they have flown the coop!
Ok, so they haven’t quite left home yet, but there has been plenty of talk about it lately. Both kids have grand illusions of getting their drivers license, buying their own cars and never been seen around him again. Of going flatting with their friends and of earning copious amounts of money and never having to struggle, budget or ask for pocket money again! And the freedom, oh the freedom that will come with leaving home, no more chores and no more parents to tell you to get off the x-box! I won’t burst their bubble with reality just yet, plenty of time for them to discover the cruelties of the real world themselves!
Somehow all this talk has seeped into my dreams and I dreamt the other night that both, yes BOTH kids moved to China and left the house without even a kiss on the cheek, in fact, they were literally running down the drive! (I don’t think they were going to run to China, but it was like they couldn’t leave the house quick enough!)
I have given us 5 years max! Yip, 5 years and our youngest baby will have left home, hopefully not to China, but she will be making her own way in the world. Her brother (according to him) will be long gone by then! For some reason, this reality hit me like a brick in the face this week and I have struggled with the thought of an empty nest! Sure, there will be perks: no more Mum’s taxi, freedom, less washing, tidy house (oh no wait, Phil will still be around, lets not get too carried away!) smaller grocery bill, getting to choose which music gets played in my car, not having to fight for the last cookie in the jar, yes, I can see there will be benefits. But let’s be honest, all those perks don’t compare to having them around!
One of the things I love about God is that He is gentle, loving, compassionate and He knows our hearts. He knows I am struggling with this and so is dealing with it now instead of the actual day they move out and I have chained myself to their ankle, being dragged along begging them to not leave me. Wailing at the top of my lungs that I have been a good mother and how can they do this to me! Nope, I don’t think that is the memory I want our kids to leave home with, although it would make for some fun stories to tell the grandkids. So I am putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it like any rational Mum would…… I have grounded them for the next 4 years! Just kidding (although I have thought about it!) I haven’t quite gone to that extreme, but I am making the most of the time I have left. I am being intentional about the way we spend time as a family and creating as many ‘life stories’ as we can, that will go with the kids when they leave and hopefully set them up well for whatever adventures God has in store for them. Yip, I want our kids to leave home well adjusted and well equipped for what the world will throw at them and the best way I can help them is to be the intentional Mum God has called me to be.
Ok, let’s be honest, there will still be some tears along the way! Thankfully, I have an understanding husband, copious amounts of tissues and a God who will give me the tools to cope when that fateful day finally arrives! But for now I will enjoy the chaos, the fighting, the hormones and the craziness of a house filled with teenagers!