Its nearly time for children to head off to school. Some will travel across the street to kindergarten and others will pack the car and drive across the country to start college. In each instance, parents' hearts will be torn by the truth of transition and seared by the sting of separation. This hit me the hardest when my oldest son left for college and dragged a big chunk of my heart behind his car all the way to Florida. By the time son #2 departed to launch his educational career, I'd like to say that it got easier ... but it didn't. And ... it shouldn't.
God puts families together and allows us to feel life's most powerful emotions through the course of our time together. It should hurt some when children leave. Not a crippling, unhealthy, codependent hurt, but rather a deep, bitter sweet ache that lets us know how special our time with them really was.
A number of years ago, I was pondering this amazing paradox of separation when I wrote the following poem about watching our kids grow and then leave the nest.
Moms and dads, let me know if you can relate ...
I Wish My House Was Bigger
Oh, I wish my house was bigger There’s always too much noise from my cat and dog and daughter, but mostly from three young boys ...
Oh, I wish my house was bigger For a parent, work never ends There’s crumpled clothes and dirty dishes, and younger brothers to defend ...
From the day that they all got here They’ve really changed my life No longer is there time for me to just enjoy my wife These little ones are so much work There’s no shortage of new chores. They laugh and cry and shout and pout and beg for “just once more ...”
The times I used to hunt or fish are replaced by “Hey dad, know what I wish???” Some nights I think what life would be, if I was on my own; no shattered windows, no broken bikes, just enjoying life alone
Yes, I wish my house was bigger There is still way too much noise from two cats, a dog and daughter but mostly from three growing boys.
The bills keep getting higher as the price of toys goes up We no longer shop for Legos; now, it’s cars, and expensive stuff And, their friends show up on weekends loud as they can be Oh, I wish my house bigger and there was much more room for me ...
You know a strange thing happened just the other day My last child left for college and there was still much left to say Now, my house is clean and spotless But it’s quiet as a tomb And I strain to hear their laughter as I wander room to room.
Now, I wish my house was smaller and all my kids were near I’d gladly trade the mess they made for the joy they once brought here
Sure, now I’ve time for fishing but it’s really not the same There’s no hooks to bait, no chocolate milk and no long drive, guessing games ...
Lord, I wish my house was smaller and I could somehow, some way feel the closeness of my children and my heart could somehow heal
Brian D. Molitor Sept. 2006
Read more at Brian D. Molitor