Surviving Your Kids Growing Up

In response to many comments and questions from my last post… How do you handle it when your kids reach certain milestones?  Such as starting school, driving, dating, first jobs, graduating, going off to college or moving out.  When our kids are small, we feel like we have forever before we have to worry about any of these things.  That first day of school is generally the first milestone.  We carry them in and drop them off for the day with a group of people we may not know and trust that they are going to take care of our most precious commodities.  Looking back, that seems like such a simple thing.  But at the time, it was hard.  I remember when my oldest finished 5th grade.  They had a 5th grade transition ceremony (a fancy way of saying graduating from elementary school and going off to middle school).  I sat there and proudly shed a few tears when his name was called for awards and his high grade point average.  Then they named the kids off one by one and they walked off of the stage and waved “goodbye”.  With our last name starting with a W, he was next to last.  I was crying behind my camera lens by this time.  I’m shedding a little tear now thinking about how long ago that was.  Three short years later, we went through it again with our oldest daughter.  They are both grown now.  And while on one hand, that seems like yesterday, on the other hand, it seems like a lifetime ago.


I have enjoyed each step along the way.  I loved the little stage.  Then they became tweens which was probably the most challenging time.  Then came the teen years.  While it certainly had challenges (and attitudes), it also brought a new era… kids you could have real conversations with.  My son enjoys politics and talking about world and national events.  We have enjoyed many extended conversations on these topics.  Of course, the most terrifying time for parents of teens, is when they get the drivers license.  Especially the first one.  I was terrified of this day coming.  All I can say is God gives us what we need right when we need it.  When the day came, I was OK.  Sure, I was a little nervous watching him drive away the first time on his own. But I wasn’t frantic, which is a huge improvement over what I thought I would be!  I did a lot of praying!  I still do… everyday.  Then when they go off to college, move out, that is another traumatic time for a parent.  Honestly, that is more traumatic than the driver’s license.  It’s not just worry over them being out on their own, but just missing the them not being here… in their room at night.  The first few weeks walking by the empty bedroom, especially at night when they should be in there, is like someone stabbing you with a knife right in the stomach.  After a while, the pain eases off.  I still just go stand in their bedrooms sometimes, reflecting on days gone by.  My kitchen counter is a tribute to my family through the years.  It is covered in photos from the time my husband and I got married right up to my son going off to college, which was only two months before we did the counter tops.  Sometimes I stand and stare at the counter remembering the memories that go along with each picture.

It does get easier with time, and when they are successful and flourishing, the sense of pride we get overcomes the feeling of loss and anxiety.  We raise them with the intentions of one day letting them go to fly on their own.  That is the goal.  It’s just that when they are small, you have no idea how fast that time if going to go by.  When your parents told you that the older you get, the faster time goes… that doesn’t even come close to how fast 18 years goes by when you’re raising a child.  When they are young and you feel frustrated over behavior, potty training, lack of eating the right foods, or not sleeping through the night; just stop and think to yourself, one day, you will reflect on your kids growing up and this will be just a blink in time.  Enjoy it all… getting up in the middle of the night is just another opportunity to hold them and rock them; potty training can make for humorous stories to share later; the pacifier also provides great stories later on; the strange places they hide sippy cups or pop tarts is also an entertaining tell years down the road!  Pop tarts in the VCR and sippy cups of milk that were hidden a month ago… we’ve all been there!  Enjoy the toys laying around on the floor and the drawings you find on the wall… it will all be priceless one day.

Now two of them are grown and out of the house.  I still pray for them everyday!  I pray for their safety, their happiness, God’s guidance in their decision making, and for their futures, including spouses and children.  Prayer is what gets me through it all… gives me peace!  The childhood memories overcome me sometimes, but I enjoy them being adults also.  They are great young people and there is a certain satisfaction in being friends with your child now that they are grown.  Now we just wait on grandkids… our reward for letting our kids survive!


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I am a child of God, a farmer's wife and mama to 4! We raise emu's on my family farm in North Carolina. I love to talk about my faith, our farm, getting away from our farm occasionally, share recipes, make crafts and watch all of my kids sports! But what I truly love is to encourage others around me to reach their dreams and live a joyful, fulfilled life in Christ and to motivate them to want to spread that same love and encouragement to others!

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