This was a big weekend in the Loy household. We went to Denver to move Micah into his new space--the University of Denver. It was a beautiful time of connecting with former youth group "kids" who are now adults and go to school or work in the Denver area, plus seeing our friends, the Divjaks, plus doing all the necessary things to move a kid into the dorms. Trips to Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, REI, Home Depot, and of course eating and drinking our way through all the beautiful and fun places in the amazing city of Denver. Noah is such an awesome big brother--he drove to Denver and back a couple times. We went to his college town at CSU Fort Collins on Sunday--went to church with him and took all his roommates out to lunch. I got to spend some girl time with my "Colorado daughters" and the guys did major work on finishing the fourth room we built out in our new house in Fort Collins where Noah and his roommates live. They went from living in a mold infested house they dubbed "the dog pound" to our lovely new home that they have named "the resort". I am so thrilled they are happy and I can't wait to continue building out and designing the basement area for other renters or VRBO.
But this post isn't necessarily about all we did (we packed a LOT into the four days), but how we felt and how we communicated (or didn't communicate). It is about parenting, and allowing your young adults to flourish. It is about a mama bear's fierce love for the boys she raised. So here we go....
For those of you familiar with the Enneagram--I am a ONE wing Two. ONE is the "moral perfectionist" and TWO is the "helper/counselor." It is really hard being a ONE. I am my worst inner critic and I want all to be right and just in the world. I am deeply sensitive about causes and people dear to me. The TWO in me can't help but love and serve and counsel and be a light to others. All of this came out in me this weekend as I spent time with my boys, my husband, and my friends.
First--moving your child into the dorms and watching him experience the newness of everything is emotional and stressful. I wanted everything to be perfect for him. Micah, the independent one--had no desire to decorate his room while we were there. Noah and I made his bed for him and Micah put up his clothes, a desk lamp and a fan. No cute lights and fluffy pillows and bulletin boards with pictures for him (yet)--not all those cute posts that my friends who are moms of girls get to post. So I had to go along with what he wanted, even though I wanted to help him create his space. That was hard.
Second--trying to stay out of things when you know your boys are going through a myriad of emotions--many they can't identify--is nearly impossible. I held my tongue and my thoughts many times, and there were many times I didn't. I snapped and cried and tried to deal with my own emotions. We drove a LOT, got lost a few times, and tried to navigate the area, along with navigating our emotions. Micah was anxious, excited, and ready to get on the move. Noah was helpful and loving, but also knew his little brother was feeling a number of unidentified emotions and Noah tried to keep the peace when one of us got edgy or angry.
Third--I know my boys are in the places God wants for them. A lot of prayer went into the colleges they chose. They were both blessed to get into places that have amazing community as well as many opportunities to get involved. Noah is a senior at CSU Fort Collins and has been thriving. I am so proud of him. He is resourceful and reaches out to achieve his goals. He has been involved in the incredible ministry of Young Life--both in college YL and being a team leader himself at the local high school. The church, the mentors, and the friends he has, all support him in his faith and his walk with Jesus. Micah has already sought out college Young Life on his campus and is excited to meet new friends and start his academic career in Business Entrepreneurship and Art Design. The school had a convocation ceremony for the parents and students that was bar none. All the speakers challenged and inspired both students and parents. The Dean of Diversity lead us all in an African chant and song called "Welcome to the Table." I am so excited that Micah is in a place where he can learn and grow.
Fourth: I know my boys are ready to navigate life on their own. I am thankful that we were able to raise them in a life giving, faith filled community. They have a firm foundation in Christ and they know they are never alone. They know how to make friends; they are strong academically and socially. They are independent and strong, as well as compassionate and kind. They both have servant hearts and love others well. I know that this is God's work and not ours. I know that Jesus has led our family over the years to the place where we stand now. This is our job as parents--to let our kids go. To let them fly. To allow them to make mistakes and not jump in to FIX it. To stand back when needed and yet be there when needed. To let them figure out trials and work through them without our help. To let them find and live out their own faith.
Fifth: I know Greg and I will be okay. We love our boys and miss them immensely, but we have each other, our dogs, our church, our community, our friends, and Jesus. Our boys might be away, but we are still family. And we will all be okay, in fact, we will be great, because our Lord stands before us. He leads us and guides us and He does the same for our boys.
We are in a new phase of life and I am excited where God plans to take each of us. We are beyond blessed.