The first thing that actually came to mind when I saw today's Five Minute Friday word, connect, was one of its antonyms: sever.... or the French word sevrage - which can refer to any sort of separation, but I specifically remember it because I heard it A LOT when weaning my kids, each time we reached that stage in life with one of them.
It was hard and often uncomfortable then - even thought right and normal and good...
But the sevrages of this season of life, as we coach from afar our young adults busy about this business of adulting are even harder and more uncomfortable than I ever dreamed.
And just in case you are wondering - the idea that it gets easier after they are out and more or less successfully adulting on their own a bit? That's hogwash!
We just spent a fabulous 10 days back in Michigan with our extended families... but especially with Brendan, Rebekah Joy and Nadia. It wasn't ALL the sweet smells of cinnamon, vanilla and roses: siblings argue, parents forget and try to insist on things they don't have a right to insist on with their young adults (old habits do die hard), feelings get pinched a little when big sibs run and hang with friends instead of little sibs... and then Mama teases back to make sure big sibs understand that... And then there's the queue for the bathroom when SOMEONE is taking too long, stinky foot smell when someone removes their shoes in close quarters and suffocates the family, disagreements over which game or which TV show, etc.! But all that's just normal family stuff. And there were those really precious moments: surprise sweet 16 planned and organized mostly by big sisters for little sis, thoughtful presents, big bro-little sis dates at Barnes and Noble, lots of snuggles and tickles and good natured teasing, as well as some fierce fights via computer gaming, some dancing (the Macarena to Brand New Day... all eight of them, in the living room) and lots of KPop and animé.
Saying goodbye on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning - that was HARD. And UNCOMFORTABLE. They've all got big life decisions looming: deciding where to go to school, looking at what to do after school and starting to think about what things need to line up for that next step, considering changes to the original next step, thinking about a missions exploration trip, securing a job in chosen field to fund continued studies... In the immediate, one has a long trip back to campus in potentially nasty weather while the other two drive in nasty Michigan winter weather for the next few months.
Tears were abundant.
The more precious the connection, the more painful the sevrage.
I don't always like it; but, I am always okay with it.
It is right and normal and good. And exciting.
I'm so proud of my adulting young'uns... even as they make mistakes. They are brave, strong, full of fascinating ideas and hopes for future, and most of the time, trying hard to make good choices. They're still learning much about letting God be the only one on the throne of their lives, but then so am I.
I couldn't be prouder.
I can't wait to "connect" again - even though the sevrage that time will still be every bit as hard and uncomfortable.
As it should be.