Some of you may be familiar with the Byrd’s song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” (Lyrics here) It is based on Ecclesiastes 3. To paraphrase, there is a time for every season, a time love, a time for peace, a time to be born, a time to die, etc… (full verses listed at end). Well, this week our time came. Our time to fulfill one of those rights of passage – dropping off our first daughter at college.
Of course we are extremely proud of Avery and so excited about her future! We are so blessed that she lives in a country where girls are afforded an education and that she was accepted into a wonderful university. I know it is a great place and we have been so impressed each time we have visited and know that the staff will “take care of her,” both academically and emotionally.
However, there is something weird about taking a child to a place and leaving them. We have worked our whole lives to protect her, to make sure she is safe, feed her, take care of her when she is sick. Then all of the sudden – that all ends. It’s hard as a parent to turn off all those things I have been doing for 18 years. It’s like a faucet of all these parenting responsibilities has been flowing for 18 years, and then comes a day when you turn the faucet off. Done. Well, maybe you turn it to just a slow drop.
I know Avery is still our daughter and we will still have parenting opportunities. But her decisions are hers now. Good and bad. We have tried to instill good values in her and a strong work ethic – I hope it worked! She has a strong faith and knows to rely on God. She is a smart girl, but it’s also a scary, unsure time – both for her and us as parents. Where do we fit into her life now? We will always be her parents, but we want her to figure things out on her own and make/own her decisions. It has been extremely hard, but I have not been contacting (calls/texts) her. I told her that I would always talk to her, but I would let her drive communication for now. (I feel like if I contact her too much that could lead to homesickness.)
So this was our day. Our day to give our daughter to the world. Turn, turn, turn… Our day to trust God to protect her and guide her decisions. Turn, turn, turn… Our day to walk away and let her be the CEO of her life. Turn, turn, turn…
And yes, the world has continued to turn. Remarkably I have not sobbed and collapsed in emotion like I thought maybe I would. I have been oddly calm, so I guess that’s a good thing. I’ll take it for now.
As more evidence of how the world has continued to turn, as soon as we dropped off Avery, we had to hurry home. Brooke had Open House for her sophomore year of high school and Kate had a soccer game. Turn, turn, turn…..
Avery is my favorite today. Go tackle the world sweet girl!
Avery +15/-3, Brooke +15-/2, Kate +15/-6, Me 0/-2
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.