Children are born, and then for us parents the long good-bye begins. Every year that I have been a parent has marked not just firsts, but lasts. This year, my youngest will go back to school. It's always a tough time saying good-bye.
Over the years I have watched many parents say good-bye to their kids when they depart for college, war, or service, and I have seen and experienced many a tear. For some parents, the hardest experience of life is letting go of their kids. I personally have never enjoyed that process. I don't know why but I feel better when I am in control of things; it gives me a security I can't describe. As I have seen my gang leave the nest, the reality has set in that I am not in control. I can pray, work, and be there if needed, but no longer do I call the shots. I am amazed as I see my children put into practice the truths that my wife and I have taught them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and also loneliness at the same time. So next week, I will say good-bye again. I'll do it because I know it's right, not because I want to.
I hope for those of you who again will endure the process that it will strengthen you. It does not get any easier with each child. After a while, you become accustomed to it, but never used to it. I thank God for the privilege and opportunity to be a dad. I can honestly and sincerely say that my children have taught me more than I could ever teach them.
What a great life God gives us. All by His grace, so undeserved and unmerited, yet richly poured out. What a challenge to be a parent who has the thrill of firsts and lasts.
God bless, and I will see, Lord willing, on Sunday.