There has been a lot of growing up going on in the vicarage lately. This time last year we were parents of two primary school children. Now we have suddenly become the parents of a young woman.
Everything changes between July and September, children move on from one class to another, some leave one school for another, moving geographically, or moving on. For some parents the biggest move is from pre-school or nursery to infant school – suddenly we just aren’t involved quite so intimately in our children’s lives. The next big one is up to secondary school, and I am just not prepared to consider the move after that – out into the big wide world.
Children aren’t the only ones who need to grow up – we parents do too. Once I could pick up my baby and carry her with me, and if she didn’t want to go to school I could always bundle her in the car and drive her there myself; now my eldest is almost as tall as me and it would be really quite unseemly to do so – for both or us! Likewise, Sunday School no longer holds any attraction. An assurance of God’s love has been replaced with too many questions and a need for sleep. I have to learn to let go and learn to trust. Trust my daughters to make their own decisions, hoping that the foundations we have given them so far will carry them safely forward; and trust that God is in charge, that his love for my children will never diminish, just as mine won’t, and that my daughter will be guided through these growing pains by us and her heavenly parent too.
Vanessa is an ordained priest in the Church of England, serving in a team of seven churches in rural Hampshire. She currently shares the rectory with her husband, two daughters and two cats. The menagerie is due to acquire more chickens in the spring and possibly a dog later in the year. Vanessa blogs at www.nothinglikeadane.wordpress.com and you can follow her at www.facebook.com/thewallopingvicar or @wallopingvicar