I parked in the parking lot and made my way to the sidewalk leading into my son’s high school. He met me there. Now that he drives he usually just “ meets me there”. Gone are the days where I wrestled four little kids into their car seats and made sure everyone was safe.
Letting go is hard.
Standing in line to register him for his senior year, I began the small talk with other parents as we stood in long lines waiting for our kids to get their photo snapped for their ID cards, getting their schedules, and of course the long list of school supplies. Many parents of the seniors were having sentimental moments as their kids’ high school days were starting the beginning of the lasts.
It is hard to believe the lazy laid-back days of summertime are almost over and a new school year is beginning.
I reluctantly opened my calendar to put “Senior Night” on the schedule and I felt a sense of panic. Those little white squares that act as the building blocks to my weeks that complete months, years, and ultimately become memories were already filled with school activities, sports schedules, orthodontist appointments, and social obligations.
How many squares do I have left before he leaves for college?
It is there, standing in line, that I mentally put into place “Operation Protect the Little White Squares”.
I know this sounds silly; however, I am committed to having blank time on my schedule so that I can have more down time with my family. This isn’t the first time I have had these thoughts, and if I am very honest it is not the first time I have felt the panic of time slipping away. My two older sons are now in their twenties, been there done that a couple of times, but there is something about that senior year that makes me a sentimental mushy mess of a mom — sorry kids!
It is a good reminder to me that there are a lot of good and even great things we can all be involved in but that doesn’t mean we have to do them all.
I don’t think family life has to be so hectic.
Controlling what goes into those squares requires good communication, thoughtful determination and cooperation.
Do our priorities line up with our values?
Our we allowing God to direct our paths?
My plan is to sit down with everyone before the school year starts and take a good look at everything we are involved in.
Together we can decide what is important and what extra things have lasting value and evaluate what could be eliminated. I realize it is unrealistic to have a carefree schedule with children but I also am determined to have a few more white squares this year.
Looking forward to making memories and leaving blank space in our schedule so we can actually do just that!
How do you protect your family’s schedule?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
By Sherri Crandall
Wife to Rusty, Mom of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of Women’s Ministry at Mission Hills Church