A New Chapter

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. -- C.S.Lewis

This pretty much sums up parenthood. Having a light touch on our children is more art than science and is never quite so poignant than when you are helping them move out of your home into their new home.

Portia's dad and I spent the afternoon helping her move into her new place -- a beautifully restored historic home for grad students. This entailed lots of shopping, packing, up and down our stairs, then up and down her new stairs.

We are so proud of her (she may delete this post, so read fast), and I'm going to miss her terribly. I'll miss our long talks about the books she's reading, the Middle East, or politics or about spiritual matters. But those who know her well will understand that most of all I'll miss how she makes me laugh. One of the wonderful hallmarks of Portia is her sense of humor and quick wit. If she were here she'd do her impression of Shaun's mom in Orange County whenever he mentioned going away to college, and we'd be laughing till the tears came.

So this is what the empty-nest feels like. Last Friday we saw our youngest son off on a missions trip to Japan for two weeks, which was reminiscent of all the times we waved Portia off to different parts of the globe. Now the house is quiet - too quiet.

But this is where the light touch comes in: it's a must for young people to have adventures and pursue their dreams. May this next year bring many wonderful adventures to Portia as she pursues the fulfillment of her goals and dreams.

"May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose." Psalm 20:4

Posted by Mutti at July 30, 2006 11:28 PM | TrackBack

You spend the first 18 years or so teaching your children how to survive (and hopefully thrive) on their own. When the time comes to cut the string and leave the nest, there's a part of you that still wants to have your toddler run into your arms for a big hug.

My youngster is only 8, yet I miss those days half of his lifetime ago. I'll continue to thank God for my child's health and for the opportunity to be a dad, and hope He continues to help me along the way.

Posted by: Marc V at July 31, 2006 08:30 AM

You are so right. You are in good Hands, as He is the best example we have of how to be a father; He will most certainly guide and direct you. Enjoy each moment!

Posted by: Dee at July 31, 2006 01:04 PM

Well, you have much of which to be proud, I say. I've never met Portia in person, but from my contacts with her by email and the blogosphere, she seems to me to be everything you say, and more.

As for parenthood, you are spot-on. I have two little girls at home: a three year-old and a seven year-old. They are the most wonderful kids a dad could have, absolutely the dearest. I love them to death, and do not let a chance pass without telling them so. But my job as a parent is to raise them to be self-sufficient precisely so I can send them out into the world to make their own mark, and I know that even though they are just little girls now, that day will come in a twinkling of an eye. It's not easy, living under the certainty of that coming day, but until then, I just enjoy them, and thank God I was given the chance to be their daddy.


Posted by: Muzzy at August 7, 2006 06:24 AM


Thank you for your kind words. I heard it said once that children are like arrows; a good parent will take that arrow, aim high and shoot as far as he can. The bittersweet part is that we cannot run after the arrow we just shot!

I never gave 'seasons of life' much thought until after the season was over, and in hindsight, there is much I would have done differently to be a better parent -- except for all the praying for our kids that we did. That was and continues to be one of the best investments we do for them.

The twinkling of an eye phrase is an apt description -- you and your wife are blessed participants in all those millions of little moments that lead up to it.

Posted by: Dee at August 7, 2006 07:03 AM