Over twenty years of walking my kids to school finally finished today.
Our youngest had her last exam. That’s it. Come the Autumn she’ll be heading ‘across the water’ to university with the others and their mum and I will have a strangely quiet house to ourselves.
I count myself exceptionally blessed that she even let me accompany her to the bus this long. Most teenagers wouldn’t want to be seen dead in their parents’ company. Ours have been fairly tolerant!
We don’t hold hands quite like we used to but sometimes this youngest one (now 18) will still take her Daddy’s arm when we’re out for a walk, and that’s pretty special.
It’s been a while coming but now it’s here. The kids have grown up!
They’re young adults, accomplished and unafraid, Skyping from far distant countries, doing things their parents hardly dared dream of. Recently our other daughter and I went to a rock concert in Belfast. She drove. In her car.
And it’s ok. They’re no longer kids, they’re becoming our friends!
Yes of course we feel a bit of an echo on the landing and have wistful moments when we see young families in the shopping mall but no, it’s all good. We’re happy, proud parents who delight in our children spreading their wings and finding their way in life.
And maybe that’s the thought this week. As one phase ends, another begins. One door closes, others will open. We’re not supposed to remain static indefinitely. Children are meant to grow up. Adults are meant to mature. Christians may be ‘born’ afresh through the Holy Spirit but we are meant to ‘grow’ daily in grace.
So let’s remain open to new possibilities to learn, to serve, to live!
Some people will do cynical, selfish, even evil things today. Remembering the patient kindness of our Father in Heaven and the self-giving love of Christ, let’s choose instead to ‘trust in the Lord and do good’.