Friday, September 2, 2011

It's moving day...

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,



Sandra Orchard said...

Your daughter is a very lucky girl to have a mom like you. :) I love the quote you put in her card.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thanks, Sandra, but all my girls are gifts. I'm the lucky one!

Jeanette Levellie said...

How lovely that you have such a wise perspective for your kids.

Yes, we had a knotty twist in our rope when my husband was forced to leave the ministry many years ago, and worked in the business world for ten years. Best thing that could have happened to him--it made him a more compassionate, caring pastor when we did return to ministry. God uses these twists to straighten us out, if we let Him!

Diane said...

I know that day will be coming one day for me too and I am sad thinking about it.

Erica Vetsch said...

Life is so unpredictable, isn't it? But I guess that's what makes it exciting.

Congratulations to you for launching your daughter into the post-secondary world. :) It's satisfying and scary and makes for some soul-searching.

Susan R. Mills said...

This was a beautiful post. It made me cry. I'll be taking my daughter to college next year, and I hope I'm as at peace as you are.

Loree Huebner said...

Beautiful post.

It's amazing how much THEY take of US with them on their life journey.

When they're away, they will remember all your love and care, and good advice. Take heart in that and knowing that God is watching over them.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Eileen, What an awe-inspiring approach you've taken! When my kids are ready to leave the house, I'll revisit this advice. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

What a beautifully written, inspiring piece! Your daughter is going to do well, I'm sure, with such a wise mother to back her up!

Best of luck to you all!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully put, Eileen. I can't believe Alisha is on her way. Now an empty nester, I wrestled with sending both girls on their way. As I write this, I sit alone with our dog while hubby is away for the week. The silence is eerie, but I also know they are in good hands and that we have prepared them well. And yes....I too have experienced "the twist" you speak about. After getting sick, and being forced to look at my future and my career I felt a sense of failure in myself, as well as feeling that I was letting people down by deciding to step down in my career. Despite the residuals, I believe the Good Lord was sending me a message that I couldn't be everything to everyone. And that I needed to find myself somewhere in the mix of being mother, wife and professional. I guess he wanted to help me see that that was not my path. Thanks to him, I found my purpose, and in doing so found myself. The very best to Alisha in her new journey...and to you as you continue to be her guiding light. M.