My home is too quiet. That's all there is to it.... My daughter is off visiting grandparents -- homeschooling lets you take "spring break" whenever -- and I knew I would miss her. That was pretty much a given, right?
What I didn't expect was the silence I'd find in my home. There's no giggling. There's no crazy rambling about American Idol or some other TV show I don't pay much attention to. There's no loud music coming from her room or having to yell "turn it down" three or four times, either.
Her absence has reminded me of how short the past dozen years really have been. As much of a cliche as it is, it really does seem like yesterday when she was so small she needed a step-stool to brush her teeth. Now the braces will come off in less than two weeks. Just yesterday, she would "measure" her hands against mine and I could bend my fingers down to touch the tops of hers. Now she's almost as tall as I am.
In the next four or five years, we'll be looking at colleges (currently, she is looking at an art degree somewhere) and I wonder if I'm doing the right thing for her. I pray that she will be happy and healthy. I pray that she'll do God's will. I pray that I will be able to guide her as she makes some of these huge decisions in her life. I pray that her dad and I have given her a good set of role models for parenting and adulthood and all that.
Also this week, a beautiful 9 year old little girl stopped fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She has gone to be with the Lord. This little angel and her brother have been homeschooled their entire lives. (See more on her fight at http://www.hannahbearski.blogspot.com/ ) I met this little girl. Her mom used to watch my little one when I was finishing my college degree. Life moved them across the state and I wasn't able to comfort the family in the way I wanted. I couldn't even hug my little one as I had to tell her that her friend Hannah had died. Sometimes life just sucks.
So hug your kids. Love them. Be a part of their lives no matter where your kids are in life. You only get one shot at being the parent. Make the most of it.