It’s surreal how fast 18 years can pass. The busy, busy years of raising your child somehow gently give way to a new phase of life, where you are still a family but the “goodbyes” seem to overtake the “hellos.” And a big goodbye, like when they leave home for college, can just about break your heart. If—you let it.
Looking back, I can now clearly see when the drumbeat of change slowly began pounding in my mind: I’d suddenly realize, “Brittany will only be home for a little longer!” And so, I’d look at her harder, pay closer attention, knowing full well what a sweet privilege all this time left truly was.
Soon, the college visits began and senior year arrived with all its festivities and finalities. Before we knew it, summer was coming to a close and college was waiting. And she was gone.
So…just when you thought this was a bummer of a blog, let me paint for you a different picture! Just what happens when you let go of your only child and let God do the heavy lifting? I’ll tell you what: You are something new. They are something new.
For Brittany, her college years have found her attending school out of state, pledging the sorority she wanted, studying in Italy, making lifelong friends, and earning spots on the Dean’s List. She’s confidently chasing her dreams, and that makes my heart very happy.
For my husband, Michael, and I, we’ve learned that we’re still the best of friends –although that friendship was often on the sidelines while we handled the responsibilities of working and raising a family. Our circle of friends and family are more valued than ever as we now have the time to squeeze in one more adventure or shenanigan. Even work seems different and the freedom to dream again—after many years of caring more for others’ dreams– somehow feels like winning the lottery.
So as the school year comes to an end, my heart is thrilled as my daughter makes plans to return to us for the summer. For many of you, your summer of “hearing the drumbeat of change,” is just starting. Come fall, Michael and I will hug our precious girl good-bye again and stand at the end of the driveway waving until her car disappears around the corner. I’ll cry. He’ll hug me. We’ll head back into the house where our two labs will console us and we’ll all feel sad.
But then the phone will ring. Or a text will buzz. A neighbor is heading off someplace –are we in?
Yes. Our beautiful girl is on her way. But you know what? So are we.
Today’s blog post is from Kathryn Siwald, manager in Sales Force Education. Having worked at Mary Kay for 17 years, Kathryn has worked in many different roles and has a passion for perpetuating Mary Kay Ash’s legacy.