I liked this article by Jason Wright about his daughter getting ready to head off to college. I well remember when Amy was getting ready to leave for college. I remember feeling like my heart was going to break. Even though I am not sure she felt the same way at the time. She was the oldest and ready to head out the door and have some new life experiences. Although I felt like I was losing one of my best friends, my right arm and my baby ( who grew up way too fast ). I remember wanted to make a slide show or something with a song that would tell her how much we loved her and yet have photos of all of us together, so she would know her family would miss her terribly. I guess now I am glad that I didn't make that slide show...it probably would be the big JOKE of the family. But still to this day when I hear that song, I think of Amy! She was a big part of my world, my first child and I couldn't hardly comprehend having her go.
Now years later, I am grateful that I did let her go, did let her experience life and the choices that she needed to. I am thankful for the education she got. I am grateful for all the learning experiences that she had and for the great Mother and Wife she has become. The hard thing is...I felt the same way with all four of my kids. Yes, my heart has taken a beating with these kids. But what a blessing to see what wonderful adults they have become and how much better the world is ...with them in it! I am proud and like I said...I totally know where Jason and his wife are coming from. I know everything has it's time and season but it doesn't make any easier on a parents heart.
This advice to High School Graduates, is great advice for actually all of us.
Good night dear friends!
This week my oldest child Oakli graduates from high school. Where did the time go?
Last year she was learning to walk; now she’s walking across the stage.
Last week she was in the 3rd grade; now she’s 3rd in her class.
Yesterday she answered everything we said with one word: “Why?” Now she’s heading to the “Y” – as in BYU.
As you might guess, I've thought a lot about this transition and I’m not sure which one of us is less prepared for it all. (Oh, who am I kidding? It’s the guy on the byline.)
With summer here for my daughter and several million other graduating seniors across the country, I've been considering the must-do items before we pack her for Provo. Perhaps these suggestions might work for your grad, too.
First, every child leaving the nest this fall should spend as much time as possible with s, iblings. Take them to lunch. Read them books. Push them on the swings. Grads, your relationship with them is about to change - forever. Savor summer afternoons with them while you can. If you don’t have siblings, get permission and borrow the neighbors. They won’t mind.
Second, if you don’t already have a few go-to meals to cook in a pinch, find them. Even if you’ll be living in a dorm and eating in the cafeteria, spend time with mom or dad in the kitchen learning how to make a few things that remind you of home. Take long breaths at the oven. Wear your mom’s ugly apron. Stick your finger in the bowl. Learn the recipes and discover that the experience really isn’t about cooking.
Third, make a list of people who've impacted your life for good and write them a letter. No emails, texts or Facebook messages will do. Splurge for stationary or “borrow” from your mom’s stash, sit at your dining room table and write them by hand. Knock out a few every week and you’ll be done in no time. Let them know what you've learned and how they've been a blessing in your life. Tell them you love them and recognize their role in your long arc to heaven will never be forgotten. If there isn't a minimum of ten people on your list, try harder.
Fourth, learn to really listen to your Heavenly Father. If you’re like most teenagers, you've done a lot of talking to God through the years. “Bless the food. Help us to drive home safely. Help me get an A on this Geometry test. Please make my parents less crazy.” You’ll still do plenty of asking, but use this time to really listen to your Father in heaven’s plan for you. With diligence, sincerity and by investing real time on your knees, you’ll discover that prayer isn’t a monologue. It’s a conversation.
Finally, when your mom and dad look you in the eyes, put their hands on your shoulders and take advantage of yet another teaching opportunity, just listen. Because, hypothetically, when your dad was young, he might have rolled his eyes at those moments. When his own father offered a loving course correction, too often that petulant kid may have thought he already had life all figured out. But now, as an adult with kids of his own, he’d give anything to go back in time and have his dad, smelling of grass clippings and hard work, wrap his big arms around that boy’s scrawny frame and turn the most mundane moment into a life lesson.
Don’t leave home with a list of what ifs. Remember that regrets are the permanent tattoos of emotions, and you know how parents feel about tattoos.
There is no guarantee these five suggestions will reduce the torrent of tears for anyone when the rental car pulls away from the crowded dorm parking lot. But if you give them a try, you just might have the best summer of your life.
And even if you don’t, your family sure will.
You can read more of Jason's articles HERE: