When a child goes off to school, some part of his parent goes happily along with him — while another part is saddened about the separation. Whether eight or eighteen, our children always seem to belong at home with us, at our side — even though we know the right thing is raising them to be independent.
A child goes through many seasons of life with us — but sometimes without us. When she grows an inch taller, or grows more toward her friends than toward us, or when she leaves home for college, we mourn the loss of innocence, grieve for the absence.
But we also discover that our children have created another kind of new life within us, something permanent and, in a unique way, unchangeable. When it comes to our children, change is a dynamic that empties us out and fills us up, that frightens us as it generates joy. Thank goodness we are — usually — equipped to handle the wild ride with love and grace.