"It's going to be okay." All I can hear in these words is that you're right, it's not okay right now.
Moms for years have struggled to send their children off to school. It marks another year, more growing up and we feel the sting of the years slipping through our fingers. They're beautiful, but their refusal to slow down continues to leave us baffled for a solution because we know it's right and good. This natural progression of time leaves us in its wake. For somehow we are acutely aware that this season of parenthood will be over before we know it.
When Lauren was four, I can still see this clearly in my mind, I got down on my knees in our living room and told her she was going to have an extraordinary life. Her little voice asked me, "What is it?" I repeated that it was an extraordinary life. She asked me, "Will you be in it with me?"
"Everyday", was my answer as I hugged her.
We had just made the decision to homeschool her for kindergarten and my heart was full at the knowledge of spending all my days with her. Year by year, we evaluated if homeschooling was still the call until habits formed and we found our little way of life. It's been amazing, extraordinary as promised.
Ten years later, at 14, she is heading off to public high school. There is so much good to be found in this, but I am also feeling great loss. I'm like the kindergarten mom dropping off her baby, which is hard because she's taller than me! This change is not the end, but it's the end of something very precious to me and I'm grieving the loss of it.
I'm so grateful. So grateful for a decade of delay, but as that first day approaches, I'm overwhelmed with the deep truth that it's not enough. I want more. There's the rub. I'm trading my all day, everyday for before and after. The weekends become hot commodities and breaks are golden. I'm not saying anything new to the masses here, but it's all new to me.
We will adjust, but on this last day before school starts, I don't want to adjust. I want to meet her in the living room on my knees and ask for a redo. Not that I would change much, I just want to do it all again.
The truth is, I'm heartbroken.
So, heartbreak is a good place to ask some questions:
What do you want to say to the world?
What do you want to say to Lauren?
What do you wish someone would say to you?
World, please don't eat my baby! Don't take her kindness and her innocence and chew them up. Don't take her soft edges and create calluses that cause her to stop caring about others.
Lauren, I'm going to miss you, but I'll be right here to help you, come what may. This is so hard for me and I'm amazed at how much faith life requires. In my lack, I am afraid, but you will be amazing. I'm so proud of you.
I need to know that the testing of my faith also produces sleepless nights, endless tears and painful reflections of all the wonderful that we've had. I need to know that it's okay to be falling apart and that it is a reflection of my deep love for my child. I need to know that it's tricky to hold the good and the bad at the same time. What I really need to know is that while it's not okay right now, "it's going to be okay."
Those words may not satisfy, but they do give hope and hope in the presence of the unknown is life giving.
For any other mom's out there with the heartache of transition and change, I just want to say you're not alone in your tears and sorrow. For all the mom's that have been doing this every year for awhile now, I simply ask for a little grace as I open my hands to something new.
Letter To My Teen is a post I wrote when Lauren turned 13. Transition and hope are the ingredients of our season.
Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You