Thoughts on Grandchildren Leaving for College

A common phrase I hear often among my friends . Where did the time go?!   I often feel this way but especially this week and next.  I have 12 grandchildren ranging from ages 34 to 16.  The five youngest are now fast growing up.  Two 18-year-olds are leaving for college this month.  I had such fun with them when they were small,  and then I blinked and they were grown.  No more making cookies, playing card games, peeling vegetables together and laughing and singing. Certainly no more rocking them to sleep and singing to them. There are so many cherished memories, many of which I am glad to have preserved in photos.

I do not like what see in this world today with the drugs, senseless violence, greed, secularism, lack of civility, and deteriorating values.   Here in their respective homes they were as safe as anyone is today.  I hope and pray that the Christian values they have been taught will serve them well and keep them safe as they emerge into adulthood where they must be responsible for themselves.

I am sad as I see they leave them leave, but they must. As parents and grandparents we fail if they are fearful of change and leaving home,    I have dearly loved being a grandmother to these special people in my life; loved every minute I was able to spend with them

I so want to send them all sorts of advice, but they have good, loving parents for this. Many years ago I saw a man put his son on an airplane for college and talking to him all the way to the gate.  As the plane took off, he said, “Darn I forgot to tell him so many  things. But,” he said ruefully, ” I would never have time to say all I want to say.”   I understood him then and I still do.

This is how I feel today as I think of all the advice I would like to share with them.  On the positive side, I would also like to tell them how I envy them as they start out on this first of many milestones in their respective lives.  All doors are open to them and in today’s world there are vast opportunities.  There are jobs that will be available when they graduate that do not even exist today.  Their job is to think ahead and plan their study courses to prepares themselves for whatever lies ahead for them.  I so hope each finds his or her passion.

This is where  feel a sort of envy as I see them stride confidently forward.  There will be lots of up and downs as they make their way through the years ahead.  I pray they treat  all experiences, good and bad, as learning experiences.  The may not know it now, but they do not know everything.  That will still be so the day the graduate from college.  It never happens to thinking people.   Life’s walk should always include broadening one’s knowledge and never stopping learning.  That is the way forward.

At 92, in a few weeks 93, there are few doors open anymore and that is the reality of life. I had my many doors open many years ago and had my share of good and bad choices, At the end of my life span, I am grateful for all my many blessings, most of all my late husband,  my precious family and good friends, and my Christian faith.  I deeply want to make the most of the very few doors left, especially where I can make a useful contribution.  I only hope I do not miss any opportunities.

To this granddaughter and grandson, I can only say “Que les vaya con Dios.”  May you walk with God!

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