Embracing a new season of life Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Sep. 08, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg"Mom, won't you be lonely when we all are at school?" my son asked me innocently one day, true concern spilling from his deep brown eyes.

At the time, I smiled and assured him that of course I would miss my children, but I would get lots of work done and the time would go by so fast that before I knew it, they would all be home in the afternoon.

Life transitions

Nevertheless, I cried this morning after I sent all my children off to school for the first time.

There they were, looking up at me with new clothes, combed hair, bright backpacks filled with notebooks and pencils. All four lined up in a row, they were smiling, full of hope and a sense of adventure as they delved into this new season.

I cried because I would miss them. Terribly.

Their smiles and laughter, their eyes bright with mischief and discovery, their compassion.

The memories of summer tumbled about me: swimming at the pool and the beach, camping in the backyard and at state parks, picking berries, reading stories in the hammock, building forts out of blankets, performing plays in their homemade basement theatre.

All summer I'd had them to myself -- not without chaos and quarreling, of course -- but now, as they marched one by one into the school, our summertime memories together secured a treasured place in my heart. The school door closed behind my youngest child, and for the first time in 10 years, I was alone.

New adventures

My children are embarking on a new season, a new adventure.

So, too, am I. For my children as well as myself, it is a season of change and new beginnings, hope and new possibilities of fulfilling God's call for our lives.

They no longer need me in quite the same way as they once did. My season of motherhood of diapers and naps has passed. Not silently, but quickly. They were born, I blinked, and suddenly here were my four babies, all grown up and going to school and learning how to get along in the world.

My role will be different now, as my youngest child's needs begin to shift from the physical demands of parenting to the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual realm.

Nurturing is still needed, of course, but in a different way as my husband and I strive to mold the beautiful lives with which God has gifted us.

God's love for us

As much as I thought I'd been teaching my children about God up until now, God has been working through them to teach me about Himself.

Through my children I am reminded that we are made in His image and likeness after all.

God was there inside each child as I cradled my innocent babies. He has shown His love countless times through my daughter's compassionate hugs, my son's merciful words, my children's trusting grasp.

Every time one of my children surprises me with a kiss, a kind word, a gesture of gratitude or sorrow, God's love has been shining through.

My heart overflows with gratitude as I realize that I've had my children all to myself up until now, harboring all those heartwarming moments of God's love. And now they are going out into the world, beginning by stepping off into the school realm, to share God's love with everyone else.

Am I lonesome for my children now that they are growing up? Of course.

Never will I cradle my tiny babies quite the same or sing lullabies next to their crib. Never will we experience together the same exact moments of past golden summers.

But I am encouraged by the beautiful people my children are becoming and the ways God manifests Himself through their actions.

They are growing into His apostles, as they should be, and that overcomes any mother's earthly lonesomeness.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.