Sixteen months. Sixteen MONTHS?! Yesterday, my daughter completed the last AP exam of her Junior year in High School. Which means (Lord willing) she will be leaving for college in sixteen short months. I am not a doctor, but my guess is the number one cause for hyperventilating moms is realizing they only have a few months left to “finish” full-time parenting.
I know a mother’s job and influence continues, but the opportunity to impact your child on a daily basis ends for most of us when our child heads off to college. While that’s a wonderful, exciting time in her life, it can cause a bit of panic in mine. I picture myself trailing after her towards her dorm sharing vital tips of wisdom – “Remember to cook that at 350* for 30 minutes”, “Never take any wooden nickels” (A favorite in my family, although I’m still not sure what I was supposed to do!) and “Wash your brights separate from your darks, if possible.”
I know most of those things she already knows. Some she can learn on her own. Others I have threatened to teach her in a “Mommy Bootcamp” this summer. In reality, though, I have had a mental “bucket list” for her for years. Fun things I wanted to do with her, places I wanted to take her, lessons I wanted her to learn, and most importantly – all of the lessons from God that will make a tremendous difference in her future.
Sixteen months, means I plan to transfer my mental bucket list to a paper one. We will try to do those things we have been putting off, return to some childhood favorites and make a couple of those big trips to places we wanted to share with her. I will probably even force her to clean a few toilets, do my laundry and prove she can still cook full, healthy meals. We may not get to everything on the list, but at least we will have a plan. Hopefully, it will add a lot of joy and memory making to the next year.
The most important thing I can do during our remaining few months with her at home is to nurture her personal relationship with God. I’ll remind her of all of the wonderful things about being a child of God. I will share with her for the millionth time how life is so much richer and fuller if you follow God’s plan instead of man’s. I will encourage her to stay in God’s Word and share all of her dreams and fears with God in prayer. Because God’s lessons are the most important ones I could ever teach her.
No matter how old your children are, I encourage you to pull out some paper and a pen. Create a separate bucket list for each child. Have them add to the list. See how much fun you can have creating the list and then creating memories as you complete it. Most importantly, make sure God has a prominent place on it. God’s items are the ones which will change your child’s life and eternity.
As you make your bucket list for your children, what are some of the most fun things on it? What are some tasks you feel are essential for them to learn? What spiritual things are included on your list? I would love for you to share your thoughts in a comment below.