September 8, 2010
Our Empty NestWith my daughter's departure today for college, my wife and I become official empty nesters (with our son already away in his sophomore year at college).
Jayne, my heart aches that I will no longer know the daily joy of living in the same house with you. But I am comforted by Ecclesiastes 3:1:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
It is time for you to move on to the next season of your life. You are ready to take on the challenges of college. I am sorry that I need to teach today and cannot join you and your mother on the long trek. But I am counting down the days until I see you at orientation next week.
I am in awe of your breathtaking beauty, buoyant intelligence, exuberant personality, radiant spirit, strong character, and herculean work ethic. I am of course proud of your many academic accomplishments. But I am prouder still of simply who you are and the woman you are becoming.
I am grateful for the close relationship we now enjoy after surviving some rocky times in your early teens. Although your mother and I recently gave you a hard time when you celebrated your 18th birthday by getting a tattoo, we were secretly honored that you chose to have our and your brother’s initials –- PCR –- permanently stained into your skin.
Remember always that your mother and I love you beyond all measure. And that God loves you infinitely more. Being your father has been the great honor and privilege of my life.
P.S. BUT please remind me again why I bought you this present last Christmas:
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On the other hand, you'll get to know your wife again, which I'm finding is no small thing.
Posted by: mike livingston | Sep 8, 2010 5:55:00 AM
It's not the end of the joy of having your kids around; it's the beginning of a brand new journey.
Posted by: African Women | Sep 8, 2010 8:04:56 AM
Paul, well done. Bless you and Courtney for the hard work you've put into raising your kids. May you be richly rewarded in the years to come for the diligence you've shown. And Jayne, congrats on leaving Mom and Dad and setting out on your own. May you always remember how much you're loved by your parents here, and your Father.
Posted by: Andrew | Sep 8, 2010 11:09:16 AM
My work does not involve instructing students, it involves instructing clients, many of whom have never been able to let go of their children, to the detriment of both generations.
Sending away to college the two children I helped raise was the accomplishment of a goal. Yes, for shorthand I refer to them as "my" children, but of course they don't belong to anyone. They have their own lives now, and I am pleased that they choose to include me from time to time.
"My" first grandchild was born last week, and I was thrilled to hold him within an hour of his birth. But I would be just as happy if my daughter and her husband had chosen not to have children. You always want the best for the kids you raise, but mostly you want them to become independent and responsible adults who accomplish their own goals.
Posted by: Bob | Sep 8, 2010 11:21:14 AM
Go Big Green. 849 miles to Hanover. Best visits in the Fall & Summer. Whoop-di-Do
P.S. I know you love the dog park!
Posted by: lww | Sep 8, 2010 11:30:06 AM
These moments make me cherish time with my young'uns even more. Your job is to make them embrace and survive independence, but your success causes some pain.
I second Mike, rediscover why you fell in love with your wife all those years ago. Take up something new together.
Posted by: guy in the veal calf office | Sep 8, 2010 7:42:24 PM