The goodbye’s of motherhood. I’ll tell you, I never thought about this end of the deal as the children were coming along and our family increased in size every other year. I didn’t even think about it when the children would go on occasional outings or when they headed off to camp every once in a great while. It just didn’t occur to me. I don’t know why — but it didn’t. O, sure, I did nod my head in total ignorance agreement when women would give me knowing smiles and advice that these days would go so fast. I would agree with them — as. if. I. understood.
But, I’m telling you, I know now — that I really had no idea what lay ahead. I’m pretty sure I thought we’d always be “us” and things would just go along. I’d be in the kitchen cooking, baking and cleaning and we’d always be home-educating or home-birthing or drinking 10 gallons of milk a week and I’d be driving a whole van-full of children around f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I’m sure I thought we’d a.l.w.a.y.s. be whatever, wherever, however we were. You know, us. Always us.
But then there were more goodbyes. Marriage, leaving home, missions trips, camps. Goodbyes. How could the raw emotion of the goodbyes have been so surprising when it began to happen with more frequency?
I don’t know… but the well of motherly emotion with each goodbye was (and still is) surprising to me. So, I’ve had to revisit this matter of goodbye’s and reevaluate my thinking to accept the wonderful fact that motherhood means goodbyes. And it is a wonderful fact, really.
Each goodbye means a new adventure. Each goodbye means things are happening — and, for the most part, each goodbye is really a blessing. It’s taken a lot of goodbyes to finally begin to realize and rejoice over this. This is what I’ve wanted – for I haven’t been mothering so I could keep them with me — I’ve been mothering for the sheer joy of giving them to the Lord in gratitude for His blessing me with their life and for whatever He had prepared ahead for them. Our children are God’s gift to Himself.
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts,
known and read of all men”
As we drove to the airport last week, we arrived and Timothy hopped out of the car, bag and backpack in hand. I was happy for him — happy he had another mission opportunity, happy for the adventure that lay ahead for him and happy that the Lord had healed and strengthened him that this was even possible. Happy… really.
And the car door closed and it was time to drive away. Still smiling at the adventure that lay ahead for him.
And then it began to rain.