Tuesday. The first day of school. Every year I’m emotional, and Ella’s excited. She’s has missed her friends, and classroom learning all summer, but sending her into “the world” on her own – it leaves me a mess! We pray as we drive to school each morning that she would be safe and have a great day of learning – on Tuesday I just about lost it, yep, while driving. I quickly regained composure and finished our prayer together. She is all smiles, ready to get on with her day. I give her a kiss and hug as she rushes out of the van. She turns around for one last smile and wave, as the door closes between us. This episode has repeated each morning this week – except for my tears. (But they have come back just now)

The quest for independence begins at the very beginning, and each day they grow a little bit further from us. They do need us, but it changes. I find that I still need the encouragement that I find from my own mother. How about you?

Here’s what I’ve noticed through the week of my own kids independence –
*Owen at 14 months would much rather scavenge the lunch table for his sister’s leftovers than eat the same thing when I put him in his high chair. (and you wondered how we all got sick!) But, if he’s hungry enough will still eat the baby purees in the freezer, and be very impatient as it warms.
*When running to the bathroom Sophia (3) often tells me “I don’t need help” but just moments later is pleading for assistance through the closed door. All too often this results in pee on the bathroom floor. ugh
*Emmalie (4) is a sweet, sweet girl, eager to be my big helper, only to discover that she is unable to open the dryer door, or lift the heavy bag of groceries – “Mommy I need help!”
*At 8 Ella seems to have turned into a little lady overnight. She absorbs every bit of information given to her through the day, and happily presents her new information and interactions at the dinner table. Hoping that we are pleased as she tells us about her adventures.

All the while each is gaining more and more independence. Our prayer is that as we allow them to make choices, and be surrounded by others, that their dependence on Christ would deepen. I know that I cannot be in every moment, every decision, but He is! As we raise our kids with loving discipline they are molded into fully functioning people that are set apart for Christ.

While I write this as a mom the idea of them being independent of me is hard, even a shocking idea right now. In the midst of diapers and laundry, I must live day by day, but looking forward with a long-term goal as well. Do you have long-term goals for your kids?

Have a great weekend!