Finishing Strong

Well, here we go. As we prepare to begin school this year we are also preparing to start my son’s senior year of high school, and my last year of homeschooling him. Part of me finds this so hard to believe. My first baby. The boy who made me a mom. The one who made me want to homeschool. The one I have fought with, laughed with…the one who challenged me to work harder to be a better person, forced me to dig deeper inside myself every day, and constantly questioned everything. He stands before me now as almost a man, and while I am so very proud of him, I am also feeling very conflicted. I am wistful for those days when his hands were so small they fit in mine. When he could crawl into my lap for a nap or a story…for when mama was the center of the world.

My heart knows this is how it is supposed to be. We spend these years pouring ourselves into our children to prepare them for life beyond our homes. And a part of me is so excited for the plans I know the Lord has for my child. I know He loves my son even more than I do (although that is still hard for me to imagine) and that my son has a path all his own to follow…but this letting go part…yeah, that’s going to be hard for me. One of the things I love about homeschooling is the fact that I have been able to be the one in charge. I admit, I kind of have that type-A personality, and relinquishing control is not really my thing, so this is going to be a big challenge for me. And with my younger son following closely behind, I am faced with a fear-inducing question…What do I do with myself when I don’t have children to homeschool anymore??

So I sit here with my papers, and I try to work out what credits we have left to fill. And I think about transcripts (my son has already earned 15 college credits through dual-enrollment), and my mind wanders to how much “together” time I can cram into this year. As a senior, my son is pretty independent in his learning. Mostly, I just supervise. I look forward to our late-night conversations about our school (since he is working many of our conversations occur late at night), but really, I look forward to any time we have together. And I pray, I pray a lot. I pray that God will guide me in the time I have left to steer my son in the direction He wants him to follow. I pray that God will give me strength to recognize those moments when I need to let go and give my boy independence. I pray that God will give my son wisdom as I give him the power to make his own decisions and take over responsibility for his own life. I pray for God’s blessings over his life, I pray for his safety…I pray a lot. And I have a feeling that as the year goes on, the time I spend in prayer is only going to grow.

I love this boy with all of my heart and soul. And as much as I wish I could plan out the rest of his life and tie it up in a neat little bow, I know I can’t. I am fast getting to the point where I have to let go, and trust that God has got this. I know that his father and I have taught him well. I know that in homeschooling him we have laid a firm foundation for his future. I know that God has got his hand on his life and I trust in His plan for his future. I want this year to be fun for both of us, and mostly, I want to feel like we both finished this race strong.

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