When Your 18 Summers Are Up

It’s graduation season. Somewhere right now there’s a mom whose 18 summers with her child are up.

18 sounded plenty. Too many even that year when the diaper pail stunk all day, that year empty sippy cups were regularly launched from the backseat, that year when “why?” was the only word she knew.

But here you are, this year. And they’re over.

He doesn’t need you to tie his shoe anymore; she doesn’t need her hair braided into two tight pigtails. He doesn’t need his blankie; she doesn’t need a bedtime story.

But, Mom, he still needs you; she still needs you. Your momming isn’t over yet.

Graduation may signify the end of an age, but it celebrates the beginning of a new adventure. If it’s your child walking the stage this May, rejoice with him. Congratulate her. Mom, you’re probably the reason your child made it this far.

You’re certainly what your child needs to launch into this next season. Sure it’ll be different now, but please don’t let go yet.

Here are ways to continue nurturing and growing your relationship with your child in this new season.

  1. Keep talking. Be sure to tell your child know that you still want to be in the know about his life. Make it a point to call him at least once a week. Text him every couple days to see how he’s doing. Try to stay away from the instructive tone, “Did you do your homework???” Go more for, “Tell me about the new friends you met in Comp 1.”
  2. Keep visiting. Look at the next school year calendar together with your child. Plan at least one weekend each semester where you will go and visit her. Don’t always be waiting for her to show up at your door with a load of laundry or needing a home cooked meal. It’ll be fun for you and speak love to her if you make the effort to get to know her in her new setting.
  3. Keep expecting.  When he lived in your house, you had rules he had to live by. He may not live with you anymore, but keep expecting him to abide by standards he’s committed himself to. Encourage him to adhere to grade and scholarship standards the school has impressed on him. Remind him that his years away at school are for maturing and growing up, not wasting until real adult life arrives. Help him remember that personal boundaries and high standards will get him where he wants to go.
  4. Keep praying. You can’t watch over your child’s every move anymore. But you can release her to the God who made her and who will be with her wherever she goes. There’s nothing more loving that a mother can do than to pray for her child. If you haven’t regularly prayed for your child throughout the years, it’s not too late to start.

Congratulations to you and to your new graduate. It’s a huge milestone to raise a child to adulthood. And you don’t have to worry because even adult kids still need their moms sometimes!

By Tracy Lane