My daughter, Kate, is in her second year of nursing school, and she decided not to come home from college for spring break. And I am happy. It's not that I wouldn't love to see her -- I miss her and sooo would love to have her home. I would love to have tea together in the morning and catch up on...everything. I'd be thrilled to set an extra place at the dinner table. It would warm my heart to hear the sisters talking and giggling in her room. But she has chosen, for the second year in a row, to go with her cousin, Britta, on a road trip to visit extended family.
First stop: their cousin Rachel's house. They will spend a few days with Rachel, her husband, and their two kids. (Their dog is at the kennel because he is as huge as a horse and my petite daughter is legit scared of him.) Then they will head upstate to visit my sister, Kari, and her husband, their five kids, and their two dogs. (Their dogs are harmless little yippers, so they get to stay.)
Here is why I am happy: Rachel and Kari each texted Kate and Britta to ask them what food they want served during their visits. I know the girls are going to be welcomed and pampered and loved on. They are going to sleep late, hopefully take a break from studying, and get their college-sized buckets filled while spending time with these families. There will be lots of laughter, deep conversations, probably some tears, and a fair amount of inappropriate humor. Rachel, Kari, and their husbands will speak words of life and truth and encouragement. The kids will splash light and love the way kids do, and for all of it, I am so, so grateful.
I am happy that my daughter has good people in her life. I'm glad she invests in life-giving relationships and that she knows where to go to get filled up. She has been watching me do this for years: coffee dates and walks with friends, phone conversations that keep me grounded and authentically connected, trips with sisters and friends, nurturing relationships that fill me up. God has healed me and loved me through the good people in my life. And to see Him doing that in the lives of my daughters and my nieces makes my heart so very happy.
I hope that my three daughters will make time to nurture their relationships in the coming years. I hope that when they are married and have children, when the craziness of family life is in full swing, wherever they may be, that they will take time for themselves. I hope they will invest in their relationships. I hope they will learn what fills them up and then be intentional about scheduling those activities into their calendars. I hope my daughters will plan get-aways together and not invite me. (OK, maybe sometimes they can invite me.)
I think our daughters are on their way, because when my husband and I asked the younger two what they wanted to do for their Spring Break (which is in a couple of weeks), they both said the same thing: "Let's go see Kate at college."
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
Categories parenting, motherhood, relationships, letting go, self-care, family, spring break, parenting adult children, love