It’s a day like any other day. And nothing will ever be the same again.
Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it? Those were the words I wrote after leaving my first-born at college for the first time last year. Words I penned through tears. Tears that my young adult daughter didn’t know I had shed until I left her at college again this year.
I was right. Things haven’t been the same.
Life is different now. It doesn’t matter that she is close enough to commute if she chose to. She is still not sleeping in her bed every night, not living at home every day. Not coming home every weekend like she did the first few. (And I cried every time she went back to school on those weekends as well.) She is not here. I am not crying like I did last year. Yet again, nothing will ever be the same. A new era has begun: parenting an adult child.
She is an adult.
She IS an adult, although I remind her that her brain will not be fully developed until she is twenty-five. She IS an adult, as I am reminded when she tells me about outings with her college friends that I knew nothing about at the time, rather than asking me for permission to go with them. She IS an adult, even though we still pay for her car and medical insurance. She is an ADULT, so we have to get permission to be involved in her life even though we are still paying for most of it.
She is an adult, but she is still my child.
And nothing will ever be the way that is was. If she sat on my lap now, she would squash me. She hands me things from the high shelves. She shares deep scriptural insights with me.
She no longer reaches for my hand.
But she reaches for my heart, for my ears, for my wisdom. And I reach for hers. That is the blessing of parenting an adult child.