It's been a bittersweet day. This week has been hectic and during all of it the underlying theme has been that Travis (18yo) is leaving for Marine boot-camp on Sunday. It has only truly hit me today. We had a farewell party for him tonight. We decorated the house with red and gold streamers and looked at photos of when he was a little baby and all the photos of him playing soccer, baseball, football and the bass. Yes the super big chello like instrument. Even though I am and have always been the "bonus mom" (as I like to call it) there is a certain degree of sadness that I feel eventhough he hasn't grown in my womb, as he leaves our home to begin his journey. Oh, to be 18 again and looking towards the future. I remember thinking that I will be so old when the year 2000 rolls around. It came and went and I'm still here, still on a journey. Have you ever wondered what you would do if you could go back? It seems that when your 18 the entire world is obtainable, you're unstoppable and full of excitement. I remember thinking "Wow, I have all these decisions to make." From, what kind of ice cream to pick out of 31 flavors, what color sheets to buy, to "Did I make sure the alarm was set?" He will sleep one last time in the bed he calls home. He will never REALLY call this home again. He will be on his own and we will worry. Like all good parents, we will worry, but we will pray too. This is the moment we raise our children for. We raise them and teach them to go out into the world and to be independent and to create a life of their own. This is IT! Have we said all the right things? Probably not. Have we given him the tools to be a success? Probably not. It is so hard to let go, but in a way we are letting go so God can take over. Even though he is my bonus son, he has been a part of this family and I am sad to see him go. Learning to let God lead is something we all struggle with. One of my favorite stories about parenting comes from Andy Stanley's small group series Knowing God's Will. He talks about the mission statement for his family and that if a decision is made that goes against that, he doesn't say yes. He was offered a great job that required lots of traveling. He chose not to take it despite it's benefits solely because his mission statement for his family is "I want to raise my family and create relationships so that when my children are grown, they will WANT to come back home and continue the relationship." What a great way to parent. I hope we have done a good job, we still have two more to go....we are so blessed to be able to send him into this world with God. I pray that his relationship with God only grows stronger during the trials that he will face.
Would I really want to be 18 again...I think not!