May 18, 2012

Graduation Time...sigh

The problem with homeschooling and attachment parenting is that you get attached to your kids. I started this blog four years ago when Peter (our oldest) graduated from high school. Now he's about to graduate from college and Missa (our youngest) is about to head out the door. That's the last one. After Missa moves to college, all my children will live somewhere else. I've been pretty brave about the whole thing, but last night I cried my little heart out.

But this is what parenting is all about, right? You love them like crazy, try to give them the best, most stable childhood possible, then they become mature, confident young adults, ready to tackle life. Bye, Mom and Dad! Thanks for everything! Yes, that's the goal. But it sucks. I forgot that I was growing up too, that at some point I'd graduate from child-rearing. Even though I started back to college last summer, doing all sorts of independent, grown-up things, I forgot that the days of kids running in and out of the house were numbered. Running out. With all their stuff. Waving goodbye.

But, hey, my kids are pretty attached to me too, so I know they'll come back and we'll keep in touch. Missa says she'll text me everyday, and we plan to all live in the same town eventually. The girls want me to homeschool their kids (ha!) and Peter talks about being in a homeschooling co-op someday.  It will all be OK. It's just graduation transition time. Talking it through helps. A little.

Peter is graduating with honors from the University of Chicago, and we are very proud of him. He called today to say he just finished the oral defense of his BA paper and got an A which means he'll graduate with honors from his department as well as from the overall college. Go Peter!

Meg has finished two years of college and has done very well. Next year she is taking a year off to teach English in India. She is thrilled! It's a school for underprivileged children, and along with English, she'll teach music. This is a dream-come-true for her, so I'm happy but nervous at the same time.
Missa is heading to the Chicago area to study criminal justice. She's been an intern with our local police department this past semester and is looking forward to learning more about that field. Last night we attended her final high school choir concert. They gave all the seniors a gift and read their "advice to underclassmen." Here was Missa's: "Be nice to everyone because you don't know who might end up being famous or a member of the mafia." Everyone laughed. Classic Missa.

So, this weekend we have a little open house to honor Missa, and in three weeks we attend Peter's graduation. Then a couple weeks after that we take Meg to the airport to fly off to India. It's a good thing I have a class this summer to keep me busy after all these goodbyes.  


Unknown said...

Oh transitions - they are never easy are they. My husband studied criminal justice in Chicago. Good luck to all your kids - what adventures await them! And you too.

Hi Kooky said...

My boys are 9 and (almost)11 and I already tremble at the thought of the transition you so beautifully wrote about. Yes - make the most of it because it flies, and there's no going back. I suspect, however, that there are very rich days ahead too. Just different. :)

Traci said...

Good to hear from you! I hate change and don't want to think about my girls leaving. It sounds like your crew are doing great! Good for you!

Unknown said...

Hi Precious Sister! Sorry your heart is heavy... I will pray for comfort right now. Don't worry, all your "little lambs" will be knocking down your door-their lambs in tote needing comfort,a break, advice, exhortation, meals made,personal time,outings, etc. You were a perfect momma
*the best one could have* and I look forward to reading about all the ways you will bear fruit for your labors:)TAke a break while you have it cause the next wave will start soon:) Hugs and Kisses from AK. (ps had a grizzly in our yard yesterday**and could you remember to give me the same advice when it's my turn??:)

Jena said...

Hey Unknown, you have to be my friend Christy. LOL! great to hear from you, and stay away from those grizzlies!!

Anne Dye said...

Yay! A new post! I really enjoy your blog. You and your awesome kids inspire me. I really appreciated your statement that you "were growing up too", that is exactly how I feel when I think of our own family life. I only hope I keep up with all my own kid's transitions as gracefully as you.

G.Dowell said...

Just stopped in to take a peek at your life. Got your newsletter awhile back. In prayer for you all. Kayla graduated from home school this year and Christine will in two years. Then comes the empty nest for us. Crying does help cleanse the heart a little. I'm doing my share.

Kerry said...

WHAT a big time of transitions. I remember way back when I started reading your blog and I thought...hey, that will be ME someday, and here I am with a newly graduated homeschooler myself now. ((sniff)) I think you should be so unbelievably proud of your brood. They all seem so well-prepared to go out and live the lives of their choosing, and that's what this whole homeschooling mother-thing is about. KUDOS, Jena!!

Ross Mountney said...

Lovely to find your blog. We have home educated in the UK and like you coming to the end of having our children here at home. Quite a step isn't it!
I love your philosophies here about the children having the freedom to learn themselves. Totally agree. It's what I wrote about now.
Just wanted to wish you all the very best for your transition period! x

Anonymous said...

Oh Jena! This makes me cry for you! You are such a good mom and I can't imagine all your babies grown up! Crazy! love you and your sweet, smart heart. Let's reconnect!

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