It is that time of year when you cannot walk into Wal-Mart or other stores without noticing that it is Back-to-School time. Aisles and shelving units are full with crayons, glue sticks, scissors, and notebook paper. Backpacks and locker organizers fill every nook and cranny.
This year is a little different for our family. It is the first year that one of my children is embarking on a new stage of life. My oldest son is on his way to Sam Houston State University. As exciting as it is to see him on his way to further his education and move boldly into adulthood, a little part of me is sad.
I honestly don’t know where the time went. It seems like just yesterday when he began Kindergarten. They say, “Time flies when you are having fun.” I know not everything was fun as I parented and loved and trained my son. It is hard work, but it sure did fly.
I also know that my parenting job is not over. In some ways it is only getting harder. I am having to step back big and let his wings soar. He will make mistakes and he will suffer the consequences, but he will most importantly learn from them.
Since we have a multi-generational herd, it is interesting to watch as mama cows love and care for their baby calves. They nurse them and clean them. They protect them and cuddle up beside them at night. Then at a certain time, the calves are weaned. Usually we wean them, but a mama cow will eventually wean their own calves. It is not natural for a grown cow to still be nursing. How strange would that be?
This whole parenting journey has been one long weaning process as I keep training and teaching my children. Then simultaneously I keep stepping back and letting them learn by making decisions for themselves. This marks a huge turning point in our lives.
It is the juxtaposition of excitement and sadness, which makes this life event so trying. It marks a new dynamic in our family. So instead of nerdy thrill I get from buying boxes of new crayons and finding bargains on spiral notebooks, I am dealing with a mild case of the end of the summer blues. The good news is that Sam is less than an hour drive away.