Why I’m Smiling by Julie Arduini

Our son trying out a new bed as my husband observes.

It’s our busy season with the book release and graduation down, but a wedding to go. At the grad party friends asked us how we felt about our son moving out and starting a life of his own.

I didn’t know it, but apparently before the question finished, I started smiling. Our friend called me out on it. I laughed and confessed that with our son moving out, I get my basement back. It’s where he spends most of his time. It’s like a little apartment and I remember doing the same with my room in our childhood home. It was a sanctuary against the anxiety and rejection I often faced.

Having the basement back means I can exercise and have a place to go when I can’t take the literal heat anymore. With the price of gas, my husband is working from home again. Our daughter is home and will be going to college full time, but online. This introvert needs the basement.

As we shared those kids moving out stories, I admitted I can smile because of what I know to be true:

If I’ve done my job right, it’s time for them to go, and I don’t have to feel bad about it.

Our son and I have had a great relationship. As a family we’ve mastered the Rock Band experience through so many snow storms throughout the years. We’ve watched movies. He joked that for years he fell asleep hearing the timer from the show, “24” because Tom and I ran to watch it as soon as the kids were in bed. I’ve watched his videos and listened to him expertly play drums.

Will I miss those times? Of course.

But those are memories. He’s a college graduate with a career. He’s getting married. It’s time for him to make memories with his about-to-be-wife.

Was I a perfect parent? Not even close. I still fight the enemy’s whispers at night that I failed him when I had to focus on keeping his sister healthy. I can tell you this, I’ve been a praying parent and I poured all the wisdom I’ve learned about Kingdom living into both kids. When they turned 18, I let them know great times come from 18-23, but they are also the years most have the biggest regrets. I challenged them to be prayerful and seek God’s wisdom and discernment. With each year in young adult range, I let them know the safety net decreases. And for our son now that he’s a college grad, it’s time.

I’m smiling. It’s not just the basement, although all of us at the party with kids this age agreed it is a perk. I’m smiling because God is good. He gave us an amazing kid to steward and now he’s a man that is after God’s heart.

With a new address!

Have you had a child leave home? Were you emotional?

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the new contemporary romance series SURRENDERING HEARTS (Anchored Hearts, Repairing Hearts, +four more.) Her other romance series is SURRENDERING TIME (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged.) She also co-wrote a YA series with her daughter, SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ (You’re Beautiful, You’re Amazing, You’re Brilliant.) Her stand-alone romances include MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. Julie maintains a blog at juliearduini.com and participates in the team blog Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://linktr.ee/JulieArduini.
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