It's Friday, and I know I usually post "Pay It Forward" from Blue Frog Legs . . . which YOU should really check out! But I am being grateful and thankful for the rest of November, so I have something else for you today.
I AM thankful for the finish line. . . no Mrs. Claus is not a NASCAR fan . . . at all. Anyway, I am grateful for the end of the train of children, or the finish line as we like to say around the North Pole. I know. . . I know . . . I know you will all tell me about the empty nest syndrome and how sad I will be that I don't have anyone to "take care of" in just a few short years. But today, especially, I am grateful for the finish line. Well, I am almost to the finish line . . . I'm on the last lap!!
In May Reese's the last of 4 kids for me and 8 for Santa will graduate from high school.I am hopeful that I will not suffer from empty nest syndrome, because I have not convinced myself that my children BELONG to me. They do not. They are each their own individual person and have their own individual lives to lead, which may or may not have anything to do with what I would like to have for them, or what I think is best for them. Since my oldest children were taken away from me at such an early age, I may have not developed a strong attachment to the younger ones, just to save myself from being hurt, or it may be Santa's influence on my life which is very logical and rational when it comes to raising children.
I do not feel this has made me the victim, but has made my children stronger and more self reliant. Isn't that what you are supposed to do? Aren't you supposed to be showing them the way to live so they can make it on their own?
I can just imagine the weird looks I would get if I walked around my 18 year old daughter with my hands out ready to catch her if she falls . . . think about it, once your child learns to walk, you no longer hover over them ready to catch them. You are confident in their ability to walk and you really don't think about it anymore. Just like once they are potty trained, you don't constantly ask them if they have to go to the bathroom anymore. You are confident in their ability to know when they have to go, and handle all that on their own.
You may not agree, but when my children were able to drive themselves to church, they had a choice to go or not. My forcing them to go was not going to guarantee them a spot in heaven, anyway. My children chose to go, not every Sunday. I didn't lecture them on why they did not go or try to guilt them because I went and they did not. Because there was a time when they went and Mrs. Claus did not. So yeah.
I just think that when my children get to heaven, they are going to run right in to be with Jesus and they are not going to be waiting to see if I show up. Just like when I get there, I am going to want to be with my Jesus, and I don't even think I will think about them. Their relationship with Jesus is for them, not for me. Naturally, if my children were younger I would take them to church (which I did) and if my children were not saved, I would want them to go. But I do not believe guilt-ing them into going to church is the way to do it.
AND. . . . I may be wrong, but that's what I think. These things might make you sad, but I am still grateful.
I am grateful for the finish line, no more permission slips, no more picking out what they should wear, no more choosing hair styles, no more deciding what they should eat, no more signing the mountain of forms at the beginning of the year. I am grateful for no more lunch money, no more parent-teacher conferences, no more checking report cards. No more lectures on the couch, LOL!