(Inside: We all want our kids to want to come home. I have a calling towards home, and it’s because my parents do these simple things.)
I have a calling towards home, and after my big kids launch, I hope they have it too.
Life will hum along – work, kids, marriage, activities, bills – then, out of the blue, I’ll feel a flicker in my heart like butterfly wings flapping a message.
It’s time to go home.
And if I ignore that internal quiver, it’ll turn into a dull ache until I’ve circled a date on my calendar.
So, here I am.
Which as a military kid moving continually never has been a specific place; instead, it’s where my parents are currently living.
Home is my mom and dad.
I love that I’m “waited for.” When my overstuffed van pulls into my parents’ driveway exhaling from the 10-hour drive, my parents are always on the porch in anticipation, arms open.
I sink into the break from decisions. My dad takes my teens golfing and fishing. They play pickleball and basketball at the community center. My mom plans the meals and gathers us to compete at Rummikub. The house is alive with movement, not driven by me, and it’s gorgeous.
I like all the listening. My parents are not only interested in learning about me, but they actually want to hear every tedious detail. My new set of posters I made for my high school classroom, every analysis of my son’s sports seasons, and my current earring obsession. They reply with uplifting words.
I enjoy the nostalgia. The collection of my grandmother’s rainbow of goblets, golden-etched frames of memories, my mom’s beautifully crafted cross-stitch, and keepsakes from all the places we lived. The memories ebb and flow, comforting me like the sound of gentle waves against the shore.
And I soak in the rest. The ability to completely unclench. Life feels simpler. My parents encourage the refueling, “Go take a nap. It’s fine. We’ll take care of everything.”
But mostly, I cherish their love, nourishment, and protectiveness. My childhood wasn’t all sunshine. We were a fully human family that dealt with losing loved ones, cancer, anxiety, strained relationships, constant starting over because of military life, and my extreme-sassy years. But we were also committed to hanging on through every upside-down moment together. My dad would say, “Right now we’re NOT trying to be awesome. We’re just trying to get through.”
And decades later, all those things still continually call me home.
I know that everyone doesn’t get the parent(s) they want or deserve – life is harsh like that.
But no matter our backgrounds, now that we are moms and dads, through the curvy journey, we can strive to create a nourishing relationship with our big kids, so that after they launch, their hearts too will drumbeat a longing…
To feel our arms around them, to be in a place of rest, and to hear us speak life.
To always come home.
And that home will be us.
We want our kids to want to come home. Building good relationships with them so they feel comfortable talking to you helps. Our family likes to go out to eat and discuss these conversation starters while we wait for the food.
Join this community of moms raising big kids. We discuss how to raise kids who want to come home and more…
Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.