November 19, 2014

I Just Want to Come Home, Mom!

Jul7

(This guy? It’s so good to have him home. Posted from 31 Days of a Mentor Mom series.)

Barely keeping my eyes open, I’m juggling between the sofa and my laptop right now. I’m trying to stay awake long enough to be fully present when our eldest son bounds through the door.

It’s 2:00 am and he’s road tripping home for fall break, dropping riders off along their nine hour route. It’s been over two months since we brought him as a sophomore transfer to college in PA and hugged good-bye. We haven’t seen him since.

That first week there were a few calls. At first, I kept waiting for his specific question, a reason to his reaching out, but eventually, after the calls continued, it hit me.

He just wants to hear our voice.

This godly young man, flourishing with his academics and pointing his life’s rudder due north, just needs a piece of home.

We talked on the phone for nearly an hour last week, and at the end of the call, a vulnerability that’s rarely present in our “almost twenty year old, first born, confident in who he is kind of guy”, broke through,

“Mom, I don’t know. I was super cocky about this whole transition thing. I really didn’t think I’d have a difficult adjustment. I never thought I’d struggle with home sickness at all, but it’s been a challenging semester. I just want you to know, I can’t wait to get home. It’s just going to fill my soul and I’m so excited to get back on the Homestead.”

And there it was. Summed up in a few short sentences, a gift that every parent desires.

Our son just wants to come home!

(Doesn’t every welcome home greeting deserve fresh cookies and a note from their 14 year old sister?)

During their teen years, my husband and I pray fervently that if our child is going to make poor choices, those mistakes are made while still under our roof. I want them to wrestle with their faith and make it their own. I want them to ask the hard questions while they have our ear, while we can point them toward truth and in the midst of their doubt, always assure them that while we may not agree with their choices, we will always love unconditionally, no matter what.

So now I’m heading back to the couch.

I’ll snooze and wait, although this time, it’s not because he’s breaking curfew. This time, I’m not on the couch checking my phone every few seconds waiting for an answer with a tummy in knots over possible poor choices.  This time I won’t be confronted at 2:00 am with a 16 year old demanding,

“Stop waiting up for me. You care too much. None of my other parents’ friends care like you. Just lighten up. I can’t wait to be on my own!”

I remember that moment. I looked him in the eyes, with tears on my face and mustered, “When I get before the throne of heaven and if the worst thing I have done is care too much about you, I’ll welcome the Lord’s response. You are the Lord’s Child and the enemy has no place in this home.”

No, this time, during these wee hours, I will snooze peacefully in eager anticipation of greeting and hugging and loving our son who just wants to come home!

31 Days with a Mentor Mom @beautyandbedlam Fun Kid Dinner Ideas: Eat UNDER the Table, Dessert for Dinner!

Are you following along with my Mentor Mom series? You can find them here.


Comments

  1. Beautiful, Jen. I’m so thankful for mom friends like you who have older kids…so thankful to learn from you.

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  2. Wonderful words for me this morning as I continue to change seasons in parenting. My children range from 19 to 8 – your words brought assurance to my soul. God is good.

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  3. This is beautiful! When I went away to college, I had no idea till later of the major phone bills I had racked up calling home so much. My parents were always there to talk and more important they were always there to listen.

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  4. That was so beautiful.

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  5. My son is entering his teenage independent years. He has always been the easy, sensitive one that we rarely ever had to get after. We have had to learn from the parents side how hard growing up can be. The words thrown about carelessly that can cut a mom to the core. Then later that same boy understands how he has hurt me and comes and hugs on me asking forgiveness. Your post brought me to tears because I understand that hurt and am thankful that with perseverance and love he is the man he is because you cared so much. Gives me hope.

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    Jen Reply:

    Oh Becky – I am so glad. We have a son like that as well and it was such a hard reality when his sensitive spirit started hardening. Fortunately, we’re through that too and he’s back to the gentle soul, but keep on in these hard times. Their words hurt so much, especially when we know how much we love them and they just don’t get it, but it’s so worth it.

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  6. This brought tears to my eyes! And my daughter’s only 6!

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  7. I can SO relate to this – just prayed with my Moms in Prayer College and Career group today and one of the things we prayed for was God to keep a desire to come home in our kids’ hearts – that they will treasure their families – and that we Moms will be able to keep the right balance between wanting them home and knowing that they are growing toward independence.

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  8. Just 5 minutes before opening the email and reading this I just sent my 18 year old college student a text telling him how much I missed him slobbering on my couch when he fell asleep watching espn or his dirty smelly socks in the floor next to the couch. He is in college 2.5 hours away and has only been home once since August. He isn’t coming home until Thanksgiving break because of football games and his girlfriend’s sorority formal. My husband and I pray hard for this son as he & a certain group of his friends are trying to spread their wings and might not always make the best choices or the choices we want them to make. However, with these choices also come hard life lessons in which we are loving him unconditionally at all times.

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    Jen Reply:

    Oh Jonella – so true, so true.
    I know you are counting down those days til Thanksgiving. :)

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  9. Beautifully written and it is the silver lining of the empty nest syndrome. There’ll be many more phone calls home that are so telling.

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  10. I’m so happy for you. My oldest is 3000 miles away and can’t come home till Christmas. God bless your time together.

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  11. I’ve read your blog forever. Probably never left a comment. (Sorry. It’s a long story.) However, this post really really really struck a cord in my heart. We have parented and prayed and parented and prayed…
    Our kids have been great kids. I’m so thankful, but I totally get the words and emotions of everything you shared here.
    I’m guessing in real life we would be kindred spirits.
    Thanks for sharing.
    xo rachel

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    Jen Reply:

    Thank you, Rachel, for popping out and sharing. It’s always fun to know there are kindred spirits out there we’ve never met. :)

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  12. Aww this post is really sweet!

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  13. Amanda says:

    This post is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  14. We call them commo checks coined that way form the earliest years when there wouldbe a call for me. What Honey? Nothing. Just checking. Commo checks. Did them for all 5 and still do today using text an call with the occasional real live hug (with the adult ones) Loved your post! .

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  15. I loved this post the first time and love it still. I didn’t ever really want to go home, so I am so hopeful and prayerful that my daughters want to come home and want to be with us, even when they grow older.

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  16. Did you really mean to use “flouring”? I think that the homophone “flowering” denoting growing or blooming is the better option. Something so heartfelt should be perfect from a grammar perspective as well.

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    Jen Reply:

    It’s actually supposed to be flourishing. :) Definitely an auto correct on the computer I didn’t catch.

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