Thursday, September 3, 2009

Parenting is hard ...

But ... letting go is harder! My eighteen-year-old daughter leaves for college tomorrow. Nicole's flight is early and Rick has to work, so he'll be taking her to the airport in the morning. That means the boys and I have to say goodbye to her tonight. That's going to be hard. I know she'll be fine and I'm sure she'll have a good experience at school. It's just hard. I don't know how else to describe it. Being a parent is hard. You have all these worries. Are they eating the right foods? Are they healthy? Are they too skinny? Are we raising them correctly? No one prepares you for that. You have to learn it as you go and just pray you're doing the right thing. Rick & I used to worry about everything with the girls. We're a little more relaxed with the boys, but we're still very protective, probably way over-protective.

I am so proud of my girls right now. Nichelle is in Asia with YWAM doing what God has called her to do. Nicole will be attending a very strict Christian college. Both are making huge sacrifices for what they believe in. Letting go is the hard part -- at least for me. If I had my way, I'd keep all of my kids at home forever. That's not going to happen, nor would it be good for them, so off they go. It's still hard. Nichelle has probably landed in Malaysia by now and in a few days will be bussed into Indonesia. As you know, the island just had a major earthquake, so things are in shambles. Being the protective parent I am, I want her home. Knowing their mission, I suppose them being there couldn't be at a more perfect time. The same goes for Nicole, going to college in Florida, right as hurricane season starts. Pensacola is often hit hard by these storms. Talk about being a little stressed right now -- both my girls are going directly into the eye of the storms. I have faith they'll be fine and I know what they're doing is important. But, I'm still going to worry and be freaked out a little. Not to mention praying for their safe return.

Nicole -- Good luck, sweetie. I know you've been looking forward to this for a long time. Study hard and just do your best. We will miss you, but will be anxiously awaiting for you to come home for the Holidays.

Nichelle -- Stay safe. I'm not sure how the earthquake will affect your plans, but my thoughts and prayers are with you, your team, and also for the people of Borneo. I hope to talk to you soon and we will see you in November.


  1. It is the hardest job you'll ever love - being a parent.

    Looks like you've done a good job.


  2. Whew, I remember those days so well. It's still hard letting go, and all my children are gone: West Virginia, Colorado, and one just an hour away.

  3. Safe travels to both your girls, Rena. They sound like wonderful young women.

  4. Oh man, don't make me cry anymore than I already have!!

    That was sweet. Love you, mom. :)

    - Nicole

  5. Oh my. You are a fantastic mom, your girls have grown up to be independent, responsible and strong which comes from the parenting you and Rick have given them. They will both make a difference in/on the world.

    I'm here if you need me.

  6. Prayers for you Rena. Though my boys are a long ways away from the "letting go" stage,(and I somehow suspect it's harder with girls) you are making me dread it terribly! Your daughters are amazing,they are going to make you so proud. I'm proud of them myself!


  7. You've done your best and they've turned out great. That's all any parent can hope for. *hugs*


  8. Good luck, Rena. You've taught them well. Hugs to you. It must be so hard letting them go off on their own!

  9. You have to wonder why people even become parents? I mean, here I am with a 2 year old and a 4 year old and I stress and worry about them so much. In the back of my mind I had this (ridiculous) idea that somehow this whole parenting thing gets easier as they get older. (ha!) So now as I am having a little cry reading your post, I wonder if parenting actually gets harder. Ah - if only that had been in the handbook.

    Big hugs Rena.

  10. I don't want my kids to leave either! But it sounds like your daughters are on their way to wonderful experiences.

  11. Rena take a deep breath and know that you have done an amazing job raising your girls with Rick. You both should be so proud of each other!
    If Nicole needs anything have her go and take to my friends Brian & Adrienne. They are an amazing couple and would welcome her with open arms.
    Brian and Adrienne are actually part of my Churchs womens ministry. We send them cards and gifts through out the year. They come back once a year at least and it is fun to see them! They both always gush over Megan so you know they are good people!
    Hugs and now you have me in tears thinking of Nicole going away now!
    She is going to a great college and she will love it. Did you visit the vampus? It looks amazing and such a great place to go.
    Love to her Rena and let her know she is in my prayers along with Nichelle!

  12. It is hard, I know what you mean. My baby boy is leaving for University in a couple of weeks.
    It's good we still have others at home to keep us busy!

  13. But you've done a good job, so she'll be back. She'll probably bring more wonderful people along with her, so don't turn her bedroom into an office just yet! I found that out the hard way.:D

  14. Oh, Rena,

    It was hard enough when my first hit double digits. College and all that is still in front of us--yikes!