I didn't cry the first time I was away from my children. I didn't cry the first time they went to a nursery or child care center. I didn't cry on their first day of school, as I walked them into their classes and handed them into the care of others. I didn't even cry the first time I took them to camp to spend the weekend learning and growing without me.
Today, I cried as I drove home from dropping my girl off. Not because I didn't think she was safe or wouldn't have a good day. I cried because it felt wrong to take her. I cried because she looked like she was holding back tears and wanted nothing more than to come home. But this was the choice she made. I knew she would be fine by the time she came home. That she'd have fun and make new friends. I was right, but it didn't stop the tears.
Then a friend called me, who has also decided, in the best interest of her family, to enroll her children in school, asking if I could help her out so she could do school tours. As she told me the weight on her own heart, I was able to understand and listen. Simply listen. I wanted to say so much and try to comfort her, but I knew it wasn't words she was looking for, except these, "I believe you are making the best choice for your family. It is still heartbreaking, but it is the right choice."
And with that, a thought struck me. Already God has used this detour, from my plans, for His glory. I was able to be a listening ear of compassion and understanding to this friend. And now we know we can lean on each other as we face the emotional ups and downs of this semester together.
Some might say, we should've already cut the apron strings. This isn't about holding onto and sheltering our children, but about the visions we, as the makers of our homes, our families, had for our families and our lives with them. It's about changes we didn't expect. Bumps in the road of life's journey, that we would've never hit, had we been able to avoid them.
We all have ideals of how things can be and it isn't always easy to accept unwanted changes.