Karla’s Korner: Raise Em Up
Raise Em Up…
“….So you meet someone
The only one
You take her by the hand
Make a stand
Buy some land
Make some love
And then babies come
Raise em’ up…”
These words from country music singer Keith Urban’s new song “Raise Em Up” has resonated in my head and heart this past week. As I sat outside of the dressing room at the tuxedo shop on Wednesday waiting for my son to emerge so the sales associate could make sure everything fit properly on his prom tux I found myself filled with emotions. The dressing room door swung up and out stepped a handsome young man who used to be my little boy. With my heart in my throat and tears waiting to erupt from my eyes, I grabbed my phone and snapped a few pictures. “Oh my gosh mom, really?!…don’t be ridiculous!” he said as he rolled his eyes and shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants. Sitting quietly in the corner I watched as the sales associate showed him how to attach the cuff links, button covers, and bow tie. In my head I knew that this was supposed to happen, however, my heart keeps pulling me back to a time of Tonka trucks, tricycles, building blocks and me being the center of his little world.
Sharing my experience and feelings with a friend a few days later our conversation led to her sharing similar feelings as she raised her seven children many years ago. “Oh honey”, she says, “they all grow up and if you’re lucky they will come back and help take care of you when you’re old”. As parents it is our job to teach our children to be kind, caring, considerate, responsible adults who will in turn do the same for their children. We know going into the whole parenting gig that children are supposed to grow up and leave home, but somehow it seems to take us by surprise when they do. I think maybe we get so caught up in life that time gets away from us and we find ourselves struggling with the thought of an empty nest.
Parenting is one of the most gratifying jobs we can ever have; it’s never ending requiring us to change roles as our children grow and develop. Being a parent is endlessly demanding taking up energy we don’t even know we have and yet we find ourselves wishing we had more time. Going through the early years of sleepless nights, runny noses and skinned knees we believe we can’t wait until they grow up. Then one day you find yourself sitting in a tuxedo shop (or a dress shop) watching your big kid prepare for the prom. You begin to realize that while you will always be the parent their need of you is changing and wishing that just for a while they were little again and realizing that your nest is about to be empty.
With one graduating college in a few short weeks and the other finishing his junior year in high school, I have come to the conclusion that my job as the momma has changed from the chief navigator of my children’s lives to spectator and sometimes coach on the sidelines watching and reveling in the job their dad and I have done raising and preparing them for the big time also known as their future.
As our nests empty little by little, we as parents must let them go while embracing the future and welcome our own new opportunities. Our job as a parent will not go away but our duties will definitely change.
Whatever stage you find yourself in today, I encourage you to make the most of it because it all goes by quickly. Welcome each day as an opportunity to learn, grow and play in the moment while moving toward the next. While I am not there yet, I am learning to prepare myself for the day that I come home after work and find just my husband waiting for me. Some days that excites me knowing that we will only have each other to look after and other days the thought of my children being out of my house causes me to grieve a little. Taking each day as it comes, learning to live authentically and purposefully keeping love for one another at the forefront will allow us to transition our life stages and find peace and joy along the way. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote “Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts” which reminds us that while our children may leave home love will keep us connected.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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