I'm not sure how parents do this, how they prepare for such a natural stage in life. I have been an emotional wreck for about 6 months now (I think I'm doing much better and we are moving towards the excitement of the next phase) as I have been mourning the loss of her childhood - her growing up. The reality has set in and the dynamics of our family will change as we say good-bye and enter into a new chapter. She hardly notices as she goes off to work, out with friends, and is trying to get every last bit of socializing in while she can before she leaves for college.
It's interesting - I was out with our little dog Lucy last Monday morning taking her potty. We have a good size magnolia tree by our entry way, and in-between some branches, fairly high up, sits a small nest. I've been watching a Momma bird coming in and out over the last few weeks, wondering how big her little birds are. Well, on Monday morning the little birds were sitting up looking out of the nest facing in opposite directions, and big enough that it looked like they might be ready to leave that nest. One of the little birds stuck it's little behind out and wriggled it's little back side, fluffing it's feathers while taking care of business out the side of the nest. I brought Lucy back in and went about my daily tasks. Later that evening, I went outside with Lucy again - about 6:30 ish. I noticed one of the baby birds was out on the grass and Momma bird was out there on the grass chirping away, trying to get that baby bird to fly. I'm sure Lucy was not helping as she kept trying to inch her way closer to get a better look - I held her back. The baby bird would flap it's wings and rise up a bit, then fall to the ground. Momma would chirp and fly to the low branch on another smaller tree in the yard, trying to get the baby to follow. This went on for some time and that Momma bird was sure worried. It got me thinking. In the grand scheme of a birds life, it was VERY important that the little bird learn how to fly before nightfall - before all the predators come out. There was only a small window of opportunity for that bird to fly, and yet it really didn't seem like it was too concerned as it hopped along the driveway, and over to the flower bed, then onto the brick, and finally back on to the grass - the whole while Momma bird was chirping louder and louder because she knew what could happen if her little bird didn't fly.
I'm kind of feeling like that Momma bird. These months between High School and College have been a challenge. Without going into detail, I just feel like I am chirping louder and louder to make sure she reaches her goals and nothing gets in her way of that. It's hard when I don't see the same focus from her. I'm thankful that we had a great lesson in church the other day. "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves"was a perfect reminder. I'm not going to lie when I say that college will be a good thing for both of us. I will miss her like something fierce, but she needs to start flapping those wings.