Thursday, July 30, 2009
After Parenting, What's Next?
Despite impressive job titles, elaborate business cards, spacious offices, pricey business suits, and a torrent of pressing responsibilities, small, large and sometimes imagined...
My primary vocation these past (gulp!) 32 years has not been a job that drew a pay check. Or had set hours. Or that I could neatly leave behind at the office.
Instead, my primary vocation, as well as passion, preoccupation, and obligation, has been parenting.
I always knew I wanted children. I had my first a few months shy of my 25th birthday. Now, as I approach year 58, my youngest celebrates her 18th birthday as she packs for college almost 3,000 miles from home. (See photo above of the historic residential college to which she has been assigned.)
My days as a first-line, hands-on parent are drawing to a close.
I'd like to say that I don't regret one single moment of parenthood, but the fact is that I made mistakes, and God knows, so did they.
But that's life. That's part of the journey. That's certainly part of the process of growing up for both parent and child. That, ultimately, is a great blessing.
Yes, I always knew I wanted children. I knew I was meant to parent. And after I'm gone from this life, my main legacy will be carried by and in my children. That's how it was meant to be for me. On a deep level, I've known that from a young age...
Now, I know from experience that parenting doesn't end when they leave for college... or become adults, or marry, or even have children. Trust me on this. :)
But when they leave home, parenting intrinsically changes. That, of course, is part of God's plan.
But I find myself wondering: what does God want me to do with all my new spare time? More writing? Finally, a book or two?
Or does He have another plan?