It’s A New Season

Tuesday morning marked the next step in the parenting process for our family. Jonathan officially left home to start his life in his own place. Seeing him off at the beginning of the academic year is not a new phenomenon. We’ve done this annually for the past six years. First, we drove him to Hampton, Virginia where our little boy started his undergraduate studies at Hampton University. I cried for two weeks prior to that fateful day and two weeks afterwards. And every year we have had a new milestone and more tears – from the first time we allowed him to take the car back and drive alone to moving into apartments, being crowned Mr. Hampton etc. Then we took him to Pennsylvania where he started his masters at Penn State.

But there is something very different about this academic year. Jonathan is starting his first, post-graduate school, professional job. He’s the new Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. He seems so young but we were married and I was pregnant with him when I was Jonathan’s age so I know he’s not a little boy. But this mother’s heart is filled with conflict. On the one hand, I am so proud of Jonathan. He’s a wonderful young man, intelligent, kind and saved! I know he’s going to do a great job at Wake Forest and I know that God is going use him in amazing ways. On the other hand, my baby is gone. This summer is likely the last summer we will have with all of us at home. And that breaks my heart even while I rejoice to see him prosper. Oh that I could turn back the hands of time every now and then and have that little boy who once sat on my lap, hugged my neck and gave me big wet sloppy kisses. To see the boy who used to do flips over anything that he could climb on, every now and then, would be a joy. But, would I trade the joys of seeing him leave home a boy and come back home a bit closer to being a man? Or would I trade seeing him walk across the stages at Hampton or Penn State to have degrees conferred with honor? Would I miss the times we sit in the kitchen talking? It’s all good. I have the blessed assurance that God is holding the future of my little boy/man child in his hands and that God will keep that which I have committed to him. And make no mistake about it, Jonathan was committed to the Lord when he was a baby and repeatedly over the years as he grew up. So, I let my tears of joy and sorrow mingle as I look forward to what will be.

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