Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

After 18 years, a mom’s job never ends – even when our children journey from home

Lenten Reflections: #9

“I clock out in 90 days.” her words hung in the air as we watched her son play one of his last high school tennis matches before entering college. With one son graduating from college, a daughter prepping for an exchange program to Europe and now her youngest son graduating in 90 days, her full-time mom job seemed to be winding down, if that is at all fathomable.

I remember when her eldest started college and she told us their family’s 5-top at a restaurant became a 4-top…no chair to place at the end of a booth, no hassle of pushing two tables together, no reservations needed. Their five became four, then three and is gradually circling back to the once newlyweds that started at the altar.

This dear mom has been my sage. She’s a friend who has helped me maneuver from elementary school sock hops to middle school PTSA fundraisers…parlaying my way to high school sports and now she serves as my go-to for all things college.

I often think about the advice I received from SO many experienced mothers years ago when they announced: “enjoy your kids while you can…time flies.” At the time I wanted to hand them my crying son, ask them to change my newborns’ diaper, and have them read Dr. Seuss’ Go Dog Go to my daughter for the 3,468th time. But instead, I logged their words into my mom-brain, apparently, so I could blog about it years later.

Our kids will be graduating from high school soon so it’s natural (to me) to catch myself wallowing every now and then. But this time, dug a little deeper. I thought about the content of our children’s character.

Who were they becoming?

Would they hold the door at church for the family running late or help someone’s grandmother grab her luggage off the carousel at the airport? Would they pick up trash when no one was looking or continue to write thank you notes to their grandparents?

I know they’ll be moving on, finding their passion, and God-willing, loving their lives. And for the first time, ever, I felt a sense of relief, a comfort, a joy that our three children are REALLY good kids.

No need to clock out moms, although the memorable nurturing years are waning, new chapters will reveal joys we never dreamed of…

as George Bernard Shaw said,

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”

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