It seems like the school year picks up speed after Spring break, especially if you have a graduating senior. I just finished putting away Easter decorations and now it is time to get ready for
something else. Graduation! In just six weeks Amy will be walking across the stage in cap and gown to receive her high school diploma. I must have blinked because it seems like yesterday when she was learning to read and ride a bike. Now, she is signed up for classes at the local junior college and driving. I need to face the fact that my cherub faced toddler is quickly becoming a young woman.
While I am so proud of her, something inside of my mom heart feels a bit sentimental and, in a small way, no longer needed. She is stretching her wings and the feathers are almost filled in.
Thankfully, I know of a good book. Mine. I thought it was the book I needed when my first one was leaving home, but in reality, each child who flys from the nest leaves a small empty space.
In the next few weeks I will posting some excerpts from Empty Nest: Strategies To Help Your Kids Take Flight. Each post will include a “Take Ten” activity as well as something creative to do to get ready for your graduates big day. I hope you will join me as we head into this countdown to this milestone moment.
How to focus—and how to breathe.
I have no idea what all the unfocused breathers did before the official term “pant-blow” became part of the natural birth vocabulary. No one mentions the two major Lamaze class points during other medical endeavors. I have yet to hear my dentist ask “How would you like a natural root canal or maybe you should find a focal point before we start doing your filling.” Yeah, I would find a focal point. It would be the bright “exit” sign right over the door. For anyone who has had the experience of being in a birthing class, you know that breathing and the ability to focus is esteemed as an art form.
The feeling of having your bag carefully packed and ready to take to the hospital is a stark contrast to watching your child pack his or her own bag and leave home without you.
I was so thankful to have nine months to prepare bringing our first baby into the world. How odd it is that we often don’t have that luxury of time and undivided attention to prepare our hearts when it is time to release them into the world.
Time to find a focal point
Breathing is something we do naturally. It can also be something we do intentionally so find a focal point.
Just like the day they were born, soon it will be time to push them out and cut the umbilical cord. Only this time it is often the parents who need to breathe through this natural transition from one stage of parenting to the next.
When the big bird feathers of adulthood crowd through the whisper soft down of adolescence, it is time to focus on where they want to soar, not on where you want them to stay.
Focusing on that is important is not always easy since it involves emotions we haven’t dealt with before.
TAKE 10 – 12
I asked friend and Licensed Marriage family Therapist, Kate Piper, what she would advise parents who are facing times of stress concerning their child leaving home.
Her response included several great tips that I will be sharing over the next several posts
- How did you imagine this part of your life when you thought about it 5 years ago?
For you? For your child? For your family?
Take 10-12 minutes to write down your thoughts in a journal.
Go through your kids photo albums and select a few dozen photos that help capture their childhood. Take photos of them with their friends and capture a few that have been posted on Facebook of fun times during their senior year. Include some photos of their senior pictures, homecoming, and football games. (I just bought a photo album voucher for a Picaboo book and saved 60%).
Create a scrapbook with plenty of room for people to sign. Often times the yearbooks are signed by friends, but family and loved ones need a place to jot down well wishes for the graduate. Consider including the page you just wrote.
Save aside a few of your favorite photos for a fabric banner we will be making next week.