not for me, but for our eldest daughter, Alisha. Hubby and I are moving our all of seventeen-year-old girl into her dorm room today on the University of Guelph's campus. She begins studying within the Animal Sciences program next week. Sometimes I just have to blink myself through acknowledging that. Where have the years gone?
I've been asked so many times from friends and family if she' ready for this. They're not asking from Alisha's perspective, they're asking from a mother's over-protective nature if I think this is a good thing, or if it's doomed for failure. Is she mature enough to handle the rigors of post-secondary education while gaining all that independence in one fell swoop?
I honestly think Alisha is ready.
She's spent the last two summers as a councilor at an overnight horse camp for girls, so she knows what it's like to be away from home, and she knows what responsibility is. In fact, she's always been the responsible type. Sadly for her, she also inherited her mother's more serious, quiet, dependable nature. I'm thinking she's not going to be the party girl type at all. I'm hoping I'm wrong on this and that she does allow herself to have a bit of fun (not the kind that will get her into trouble mind you).
As far as separating from us? Well, let's just say she's been doing that for several years now. Hence why my own needed mental leap from writer to publication has taken so long to come. I'm finally breathing in non-pins-and-needles air around here. Hallelujah!
Oh, I'll worry as all mothers do, but I'm at peace with this transition. I've lifted my little girl into the Lord's hands, and I'm ready to see her soar. If she should ever take a bit of a nose dive, we'll be right here for her to perch on. She can rest a while, regain her strength and direction, then take off again. I know we're only meant to have our babes under our wings for a short time, then it's their turn to fly free.
I also know how children hate to hear words of wisdom from their parents, especially teen children, but as I put together a laundry basket of care filled with all things odd and wonderful to make her dorm room uniquely hers, I just had to tuck a card inside. Leaving all praise and encouragement within didn't seem quite enough, though. I just had to add: Success is often altered in hind site, and changing direction doesn't imply failure.
If there is one thing I want my daughters to know, it's that the roads we travel won't always be straight or how we initially planned them to be. And that's okay. Life is a journey, not of successes and failures, but rather, of discovering our purpose. We might get lucky and discover a fairly straight path, but then again, that might not be the path for us.
As my daughter begins her venture in discovering her purpose in this world, let us all be reminded that our journey's are ongoing, too. We, too, have more life to live and may our Good Lord continue to guide and protect us all on our journey.
Have you ever experienced a twist that felt like a failure, only to discover its great purpose later? And what about your leaving home experience? What things did your parents do that made the transition more fun or easier?
I pray we all have a wonderful weekend filled with much love and fellowship!
Surrendering to Him,