It has been over two weeks since I delivered my firstborn. No, this delivery did not come after 24 hours of labor. On the contrary, it came after 18 years. We delivered him to college and drove away. 14 hours away, to be precise. The drive home was remarkably quiet. And reflective.
I haven’t written about this yet because I have been processing this whole transition. This is huge. We are so incredibly proud of our son for overcoming his challenges and moving to the next step of his development. But it has also been hard.
I don’t miss his clutter piles. But I do miss his daily hugs.
I don’t miss his thrashing because the stallion was ready to leave the stable. But I do miss his voice.
I don’t miss his fussy eating habits. But I do miss his company at dinner.
I have been quite deliberate in letting go. It has been effortful to not call with my 4,762 questions of how things are going and who he is hanging out with and where he went to church and how he is eating and whether he is sleeping and … well, you get the picture. But I have (mostly) resisted and waited for him to call me.
I waited almost a week until I couldn’t wait anymore. I felt like a teenage girl waiting for the phone to ring. I finally called him after 6 days and checked in with him. Then I waited some more. Five more days and he finally called. Oh, he was texting regularly but I just needed to hear his voice to gauge how he was doing. Today he called again. All seems well.
I know this is a transition many families make every fall. And it is a transition I am grateful we are able to make. But I am mindful that his journey is different and I worry he will not be understood. So I pray. I pray for his ability to articulate his differences and I pray for wisdom and discernment for his professors to understand and know how to work with him. And I pray for God to stretch him into the man He is shaping and forming for the purposes for which he was created. And I cling to Ephesians 2:10: 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
I used to believe that labor was an initial time that led to birth. The older I get, the more I realize that labor is a lifelong part of mothering. I used to labor to teach him many things in daily life. I now labor in prayer as God works in him. And I am coming to understand that letting go is part of laboring.
I pray God’s grace over each of us as we labor with the delivery of our children, knowing they are truly God’s and we are simply stewards for a season.