When Children Grow Up

PocketwatchLast night was prom.  After the prom, 30 kids came to our house, along with 8 moms, and one other Dad (thank you!).  They came in at 12:30 and stayed until 2:30.  A great group, all of whom looked as if they were going to drop off to sleep at any moment.  They laughed and ate breakfast burritos for two hours. 

I was awake and present through it all.  Kind of amazing.  I don’t do late nights anymore.  At least, not very often.  Then, this morning, I drove to Belton (45 minutes) to watch a young lady and her fiance (daughter of very good friends) graduate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  As I sat there, watching them get their diplomas, I thought of being in Searcy next Saturday, where we will see our oldest receive her diploma.  Then, in a few weeks Jamie graduates from high school.

I will get pretty teary-eyed through both of these graduations.  In fact, this will be a very emotional month.  There is some degree of loss that I feel with all of these changes.  Yes, I know that is a part of life.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t change or minimize the feeling.  For me, feeling the loss in some way seems to honor our relationship as something very special.

Yet, I do enjoy watching them grow up, graduate, and move on.  As their Dad, I am very proud of both of them.  I am also grateful for God’s tender mercy.  He used myself and Charlotte to raise them.  Yet, he also used many, many other people.   I can’t imagine doing this without them.

Being a parent is humbling.  I realize that I can’t do it.  I can not do this right enough so that my kids turn out the way they should.  I am totally dependent upon God’s mercy that he might see fit to provide what I haven’t or what I can’t.  Afterall, he is the only perfect parent who exists.

I am thankful for his faithfulness.

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3 thoughts on “When Children Grow Up

  1. What a sweet post! I can’t imagine how hard those changes will be. It isn’t a sadness of what is to come, but rather a realization that it will never be like it is right now again.

    I feel that way when Matthew loses a tooth. I don’t know what graduations and marriages will do to me!

    As far as getting emotional, who can forget the sight of my dad crying so hard at my wedding that he snorted and fellow customer at the restaurant we ate at that morning buying us breakfast because of how pitiful he looked?

    I will cherish his unashamed outpouring of emotion for the rest of my life. I know your daughters will as well!

  2. Jim, It is so hard to believe your girls are so grown up. Graduation from college was just as emotional as high school. But just wait til you walk Christine down that isle. It is so strange how you can be so sad & happy at the same time. Both of my girls made it home this weekend (at different times) for Mothers Day. I am so proud of both of them. They still make my heart swell with pride. I love seeing the beautiful young womern they have become. I thank God everyday for Blessing me with them. I am praying really hard for both of them right now, they both have some changes going on in their life that I know God will bless. I will be praying for your family to get through these next few months. Hang in there Dad, you will survive. Love to all! Sharon

  3. Jim,
    Thanks for the comment at Life at Work. I came across your this site about six months ago, I guess. I have it it my “Favorites” folder and look in on you occasionally. C3 and John Dobbs were asking about “A Place for the God-Hungry.” I got to tell them where you are. I bet C3 looks in on you.

    My son turned 16 in April. My daughter turned 13 last week. Emotional month for us, too.