Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mixed Bag of Feelings

Over the Labor Day weekend we helped our daughter move to another city, to her first apartment and career job. We were proud, happy for her, and a bit sad for us.

Emily, thanks for the memories of your growing-up years and all the ones we expect to make with you in the future.

  • Emily goes to the door of each neighbor's house selling candy for elementary school. Her broad smile and friendly chatter make it impossible to refuse her.
  • She hesitates to sign up for the swim team at age seven, though she took to the water at two and a half. Seven years later, as she ends her swimming career to take up high school volleyball, basketball, and tennis, she has a box full of ribbons and medals from local, regional, and state meets. She's still in touch with some of her former teammates.
  • Around kindergarten or first grade, our little runaway packs a suitcase and flees to the neighbors who are grandparental to her. She's home by dinnertime.
  • In fifth grade she wins the Good Citizen Award, because the teacher alone noticed how she befriended a child whom no one else would.
  • In middle school, she cries and grieves, as we do, over the loss of her friend Hannah.
  • On road trips, battles ensue between Emily and her brother, but the sweet moments in between make it all worthwhile. They get along well these days.
  • Freshman year of college is nightmarish, at best. We feel like ogres driving away from the dorm. I purposely save my tears for later. Emily begrudgingly returns her sophomore year, engaging in campus life and embracing every worthwhile activity she can squeeze in. She graduates with an early childhood education degree.
  • After a summer of prayer, interviews, and agonizing, a job offer presents itself. Everything happens fast, from the Monday interview, the Thursday job offer and acceptance, the Friday-Saturday apartment hunt, the following Friday lease-signing, to the Sunday afternoon move.

Hopeful Future Memories:
  • More fun vacations together
  • Wedding
  • First house
  • Grandchildren
  • More mother and daughter time
Thank You, Lord, for blessing us with Emily. Now go with her, as You have everywhere else, as she teaches these children You've entrusted to her care and as she learns to live on her own. Teach her to follow You as her students will follow her. We commit her to you, in Jesus's name.