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Having a kid back home after college graduation does a number on our mom heart

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This is my Kyle. We’ve been hanging out for the past year while he’s been home transitioning into his next phase of life after graduating from college last year. Having an adult child back home is commonplace these days as our young people figure out next steps. These past 12 months have been sacred in my book; both the joys and the sufferings. There were plenty of both.

Such a bonus season can be life-giving and transformative for us as mommas and our kids if we so choose. I say “choose” because the truth is many challenges inevitably cloud the air when a kid moves back home, most centered around the clash of expectations between us and our kids about the progress we think should be made toward embracing independence. Kyle and I had our fair share of mini-battles along the way, most of which were fear-driven on my part and growing pains on his.

I could sit here and tell you how much I regret our less-than moments. How the tear-soaked days weren’t worth it, the misunderstandings were a waste, and the anxiety over ‘how long is this going to last’ was pointless. But, that would depreciate the value of all the hard stuff. We learn our greatest lessons in the dark because that’s the only place we can actually see the light shine in.

Kyle had to find true north for his life, and I had to practice (yet again) letting go of fear and worry. Neither of us achieved our purpose with perfection, but both of us found a more profound love and respect for one another along the way—the collateral beauty of two human souls bumping into each other and stumbling together along the path.

What I will sit here and tell you is how much gratitude I have for our more-than moments. How long talks into the night filled my soul for days, how hearing him play piano & guitar in the next room gave me fresh air to breathe, and how an extra 365 days of having him under my roof to kiss goodnight were a perfect end to every day. Then there were the warm and long embraces… just because. You can never put adequate words around the feeling of a hug from a grown son.

We gave Kyle a deadline of 6/1 to make a move, and that day has come. My mom heart is a flux of emotions, per usual. For those of you who read my posts on the regular, you know I’ve got a feeling problem. As in, I am a case study for emotional overload. I know we are all emotional beings, but I’m thinking God gave me some added genes in this department.

I’m excited for Kyle and sad to see him go. I’m relieved he made a plan and already missing what will no longer be. I’m proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone, and proud of me for finding my way through the unrest.

Mommas, no matter the age and stage of our kids, every moment we have with them is full of glory and grace, wilderness and wonder. Sometimes our seasons turn out to be unexpected. I’ve come to find out with all three of my kids that the unplanned moments create the most significant space for everyone to evolve and unfold, one joy and suffering at a time.


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