It's time for graduation...and I'm glad!

It's April.  The graduation announcements will soon be arriving in the mail.  Mortar boards are being decorated.  Ceremonies are being planned.  College decisions are finalizing.  And I'm glad.

This year I have one in the mix.  He's finishing up his Senior year, agreeing to room with a stranger, and committing to spend the next four years in the library (right???).  And I'm glad.

As I ponder his future, reminisce about his past, and appreciate his present, I am really glad.

For a lot of things.

I am glad that we taught him how to clean the kitchen, to mow the lawn, and to take out the trash with excellence.
...and I'm glad that we didn't demand perfection.

I am glad that we held the bar high on academics and expected the best he could do
...and I'm glad that we shared our own failures freely so he could learn to give himself grace.

I am glad we chose an unconventional path for his education.
...and I am glad he was included in making that choice.

I am glad we insisted on obedience early on.
...and I am glad for the grace to adjust our expectations when necessary.

I am glad I got to raise at least one man-child and for the mutual influence he and his sisters have had on one another.
...and I am glad for all the guy friends that God placed in  his life to offset the estrogen he lived with at home!

I am glad we were blessed with the means for me to stay home and still afford music lessons and sports activities and some fun family trips.
...and I am glad we could NOT afford everything they wanted to do so they worked to make up the difference.

Yeah, I'm glad alright.

Except that he's leaving.

  This ain't my first rodeo and I know that, come August, the only times I will ever see him is with a suitcase in his hand.  I know that, although life doesn't end when your kid leaves for college, it sho nuf does change. 

And I've liked it just fine the way it's been, thank you very much.

I am well aware of all the NOT glad moments that await me...
 - for the times I'll start to cook  oatmeal scones and wish he were there to eat his favorite breakfast.       
 - for needing to set the table for three instead of four...or five...or six.
 - that the laundry will have far fewer sweaty socks to wash.
 - that the door won't bang every day and a deep male voice won't yell "Mom! What's for lunch?"
 - that I'll be able to get a lot more sleep because there won't be a lanky 6-footer on my sofa wanting to discuss theology and chemistry and girls way into the night
- that there will be fewer chances for hugs and impromptu trips to Academy Sports and cheers  for four fingers above the rim
-for all the times I'll want to share a funny story or ask a question on doctrine or feed him a piece of pecan pie fresh out of the oven only to remember he's not downstairs studying calculus or upstairs strumming his guitar or outside bouncing the basketball.
-for the times I look into the eyes of his Dad and his sister and his dog and realize they are aching for his presence, too.  Those are awfully poignant "not glad" moments.
For sure.

I'm glad he is equipped for this grand adventure called college...because he is equipped for the demands of life.  Not because his parents have done such a great job but rather because he's been so teachable, so determined to learn, so willing to grow. And especially glad that God's grace is abundant and He supplies what is needed to raise my kids well

No, it's not my first rodeo.  So, even though I recoil in anticipation of that familiar pain, I am comforted by the assurance that our "new normal" will bring joy, too.  And I can even be glad for the "not glad" moments because I know their presence over his absence mean we have loved well.  The depth of the "not glad" moments are evidence that the "glad" ones were indeed intense.
For that, I am very glad.

So, if you see me tearing up at the meat counter at Publix as I contemplate the need for a smaller sized roast, don't feel sorry for me.  Just know I'll be experiencing one of those "not glad" moments that are the price tag we pay for all those other "glad" ones.

In case you're wondering, I sure am glad we paid that price.  It's been worth that...and a whole lot more.