When Your Chicks Leave the Nest

Today, we took our baby to the airport.

She is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina

5,415.2 miles

8,714.0 kilometers

4,702.5 nautical miles

from home

to live for 4 months.

Jacci in tutu

When I think about her I think about this picture. It is one of my favorites.

She is my adventurous child.

Jacci District 10 23 2010

She decided to take up sports in high school.  We were skeptical.  But she ran Cross Country and Track and made it to State meets in both sports.

Skydiving jumpsuit

She has gone skydiving.

Tattoo

She got a tatto (without telling us, read about that here).

Jacci

She’s sassy and strong-willed and smart.

As with most things in her life, we let her make this decision and do the vast majority of work to make it a reality. Truly, she is so sick of paperwork, that she was beginning to think the journey wasn’t worth it.

Growing up is hard sometimes.

But it’s also hard on Mamas and Papas.

When they are little, you can scoop them up when they fall down.  You can fix their boo boos.  You can make things right and protect them and take care of them.

When they grow up and call you far away from home with a problem, it is much harder.  As a parent, the initial instinct is to try to take care of things for them.  But that is not how they learn and grow and become self sufficient adults.

Parents of adult and nearly adult children learn to parent more by listening and advising (very carefully) than by doing.

Our youngest daughter is a risk taker. She is willing to put herself out there and put herself into situations outside of her comfort zone.  In a big way.

Me.  I’ve mostly played it safe.  Followed the rules.  Tried to be a good girl and do the right thing and always err on the side of caution.

I’m proud of myself for raising children who are willing to do more and be more than their Mama.

We hope she has a great adventure living with her Argentine family.

And that she comes home safe to Mama and Papa in a few months.

Postscript – I could have taken a much different tack in writing this post. You see, as children grow up, sometimes they make it easy for you when they leave the nest. Our oldest daughter became so difficult to live with during her senior year in high school, that we were ready to throw her and her things to the curb.  It made it much easier to say good bye when we dropped her off at college.

Our baby was nervous about this adventure.  It was evident in her behavior and words the last few days as we’ve helped her to finalize details to live over 5,000 miles away from home.

I believe that this is God’s way of helping us to let go.  Amen.

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2 Responses to When Your Chicks Leave the Nest

  1. Alison says:

    Postscript comment – Peaceful, deep sigh………..yes…..God is so tender hearted towards us it is truly remarkable. As you know from my earlier comments, I too am going through this empty nest season. I’m not sure if I mentioned that our son, in the midst of our daughter ‘s wedding planning, decided to move back home due to his apt lease being up and his anticipation of a promotion and possible out of area move…..he is still here at home with us, but he too is heading down the isle at the end of summer (announced his engagement last weekend!) I can’t help but wonder if God did not put him here at home to help this Mama’s transition into empty nest….hmmmmmm. 🙂

    • Mama says:

      I will probably do another post at some point in time about how adolescence, the teenage years, and the wild young adult years make us LOOK FORWARD to becoming empty nesters! I try to tell my friends with young children that it is our goal to raise them to move out, but many of them look forward to that time with dread. Surely, after raising five kids we are ready for a return to couple time.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Mama

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