Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. – Proverbs 4:10 (NRSV)
This morning, my oldest son left home, for the second time. Early in the pandemic, he drove across the country with his old dog and landed with us for what we all thought would be a few months. In that time he decided to go back to school and pursue an MSW, a program he began online from our basement.
It was the first of a season of milestones.
This spring, our second son and his wife brought our first grandchild into the world. Our daughter got her teaching credentials, then got married and moved with her teacher spouse to a First Nation community in Canada. And the youngest? He’s just a few practice hours away from taking his driver’s test.
Each milestone marks some change in how I want to show up as a parent, paying attention to who my children are and who they are coming to be. Books and movies might make us think we need to have the right speech prepared for every occasion, but I’ve found it’s the cumulative effect that matters, and not just of words but of actions. Everything we say and do shows our loved ones what we believe is most important. We can only trust God and memory to seal those values inside them.
Today I embraced my son and told him I love him and am proud of him, although he surely knows these things already. Then he put his old dog in the car, and drove off to life and school in a city new to him.
May the years of his life be many.
Loving God, please, bless all the people who are living their milestones in this complicated time. Amen.