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Parents Have Gaps Years, Too

Ann Stoll

It's been a full year since I graduated my last student, from our little homeschool. When you're in the trenches of teaching your kids or if your children attended school outside of the home, there a many days that you wonder, will this ever end? It seems we wish away the years of our lives. If only I was big enough to ride my bike. If only I was older so I can date. I can't wait for these kids to be out of diapers. When will they ever learn?

And then it happens. They are done. Many lessons have been learned. But there is so much more to go. The interesting part, is many of these lessons will be learned not under your direction. Some of these lessons will hurt or be difficult and as parents we watch, ready to catch them if they fall. But fall they must. Lessons need to be learned well least they not repeat them or wallow in them. Our guiding eyes and support need to be there, but it becomes our job to actually let them learn on their own. This is a difficult lesson for us as parents.

We want to fix things. We want their lives to be so much better than ours. Don't make the same mistakes that I did, is what I say. I can pray that they don't, for I made way too many. It's my prayer that they have listened and watched me over the years to know that they don't want to do the same things. For me, I thought it important for my kids to know that I'm not perfect, that my life growing up wasn't all roses and that I screwed up regularly. I only tell as their age dictates.

What I do hope for, is that they want to model the good that they saw. That my daughter wants to be stay at home mom, because it's the best job on earth. Working outside the home was only secondary. All my kids can see that we lived within our means and didn't require me to work. But I also want them to see, that I am a person outside of being a mom. A mom that has ideas that need to be put into play. That you can go and do great things, but family comes first. 

Now that they are 'grown' and I put those in quotes because two of my three still live at home, working and going to college. They get themselves off to work, do their laundry and pay their own bills. They took care of most of their college admissions, with some direction. It's a different dynamic now. No longer do I plan lessons and buy supplies. No longer am I buying clothing and other necessities for them, unless I want to. My daughter is married to a wonderful man who adores her. She is keeping a beautiful home for them and still working, doing what she loves.

So basically, I'm free. My actual child rearing days are over, for now. Now I get to watch my seeds that I tended, watered and watch grow begin to bear fruit. I truly hope the fruit they bear is true to their seed. Good seed that is rooted firmly in what they have been taught. While it wasn't easy, I have slowly released my strings and have begun to let them fly free. It's up to God to direct their ways. I sure hope they are listening.

What's next for me? I don't know. One thing I do know is that I've been able to finally pour into this business called Blossom's Barn. This past year has seen an amazing growth. I've also been pouring into other people, spending time with the women around me, one-on-one. So many things I can be doing. I hope what's next for me in the near future are grandchildren. Some day, when the time is right, I know God will bless them with families. Until then, I will wait. 

For those of you who are in these same years of your life, what have your experiences been? Is there anything new that you are doing that you didn't do while the kids were younger?