Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eventually, they will take flight . . .


"How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?"

- Dr. Seuss


Hello friends . . . 
As most of you know I have been raising Monarch caterpillars since March and since then and the flutter of butterflies I have released I have learned a few lessons from them about life along the way.

And you know what? Being a parent isn't much different than raising Monarchs, except to say that our children have a much higher percentage of making it to college than a caterpillar does of ever becoming a butterfly. Which is a really good thing . . . 




As I went searching for milkweed this past spring, to attract Monarchs to my garden, it was also in hope of watching the stages from egg, to larva, to caterpillar and eventually to the miraculous transformation into a butterfly. It was also exciting . . . to know I was taking part in helping the Monarchs. To feed and watch them grow, and to keep them safe so they could eventually fulfill their purpose. But it hasn't been without a bit of stress, as there are so many things that can go wrong.

And you know what? Parenting is kind of like that. Yep, it's just like that . . . exciting and scary all at once. Along with being a privilege, there is also a huge responsibility that goes along with that, to be entrusted with a tiny new life. We will nourish them (mind, body, and soul), and watch them grow . . . helping to keep them safe so that they too can fulfill their life's purpose. 

  


In the hospital they hand you your baby, and there is a joy and an excitement about all that being a parent entails. For me it has never been about expectations of who or what they will become, but instead about being able to witness the journey of them becoming who they were meant to be and to be part of that process. To be a loving guide and a place for their safe landing in the battle field of life, because . . . 

Lesson #1: Life isn't always fair
(not a new concept, just one worth reviewing)

No life isn't always fair, never has been and never will be. In fact just ask a caterpillar. There will always be many challenges in life, we just have to have enough determination to rise above them. In fact a glass of lemonade is just that, a glass of lemonade, but a bowl full of lemons . . . that, is an opportunity. And I for one would much rather our kids learn how to solve problems than to give up because they don't know how to make lemonade . . . because they've never been allowed to have lemons.



This past weekend we took our daughter to college, for the very first time.
It. Was. Hard.
But it is also exciting.

As much as part of me wants to keep her safely tucked inside our nest, the other part of me knows that was never part of the plan. Our children don't really belong to us, they are just of us and it's our job from day one to prepare them not for a life with out us, but away from us.

I have had the pleasure of watching her grow both physically and spiritually, emotionally and intellectually, from a baby to now 18 years old. And just like the caterpillar, I have watched a miraculous transformation. Now she will set out on a new adventure to follow her heart and dreams and to explore the world in a new way . . . on her own terms.

And not if, but when she runs into a bowl of lemons, I hope she remembers how to make lemonade.


{KK Culligan scripted}

I just have to hold on to the fact that we have done the best we could to instill values in our kids that will go with them anywhere they go, and that family, friendships, honesty and hard work is far more valuable than any material possessions they will ever have. Ever!

As a parent you always know in the back of your mind that this day will come, but thinking and doing are two totally different things.

But then, before your eyes their wings emerge.

Which brings me to . . . 

Lesson #2: Eventually, they will take flight.

It will happen, whether you are ready or not. Sometimes whether they are ready or not.

How did it get so late so soon?

Love, Kim


{Linking with Texture Tuesday, Tuesday Muse, Tuesday Around the World, Sweet Shot Tuesday}



36 comments:

Nicki said...

This will be a year when you discover just how resilient your daughter is and that while she may or may not make lemonade - she will figure it out and perhaps create her own lemony concoction. Our daughter taught us how to survive her first year at college leading by example -- Facetime/ Skype was a big help too.

Beautiful post and best wishes.

Dina Lettre said...

Oh, Kim...so, so true. It's bittersweet, isn't it?

She is lovely and I know she'll be a wonderful example for others!

Leanne Barnett said...

That's beautiful, it does go so quickly, doesn't it? Love that dr suess quote.

Nancy said...

You are going to make me cry at 5:30 am. No fair! Lol.

Seriously, such a sweet post with perfect images -- especially the empty bedroom. Sniff.

Kathy McB said...

What we don't realize until we are in the situation is that...college is as much of a learning experience for the parents, as it is for our kids. Our lessons just don't take place IN a classroom :). Your parents obviously did a wonderful job raising YOU Kim....because you certainly know how to turn lemons into lemonade...ya proved it with this post :)

kelly said...

yep...so there. letting go is not easy. but i know your sweet girl is going to do great. she's got a momma that loves her so. beautiful, beautiful shots friend. xoxo

heyjudephotography said...

So true Kim, so beautifully said. It's difficult, but it does get easier when you see her figuring things out on her own, growing into an adult right before your eyes. You will not believe how different she will be 4 years from now! And even though my older son just went off to his first semester of grad school, I still got a teary when I said good-bye.

Barbara said...

Such a sweet thoughtful post Kim, a message every Mom thinks and feels. Your images are beautiful

Tamar SB said...

This is so sweet! Kim, best of luck to her and to you!

Sarah Carletti said...

Truthful thoughts and amazing photos to tell the story.

Kerri Farley said...

Beautiful post!

Those college years will glide by all to quickly as well.... my daughter just started her Senior Year in College .... so hard for me to believe!

Sophie A. said...

This is sincere post I rarely see, with such nice images.
I like the quote you choose too.

greetings.

Andee said...

Best of luck to your daughter at school and to you adjusting. This was a beautiful post. You have an amazing way with words.

Cathy said...

Everything you said here is so true. It is so exciting to watch them emerge, but also so scary. We watch with hope and faith and must remind ourselves often that we did a good job. Your photos are so good. xo

terriporter said...

Your words have taken me back to the moment I experienced this and that feeling of driving away and leaving my heart behind. It does get easier and the feeling of pride as we watch them spread their wings and fly makes it all worth it. Love your comparison with your butterflies. Perfect!

Carol said...

I just love this post. You put it all into perfect words and pictures that are perfect. You have just begun yet another major transition in life, and transitions are hard, but always worth it. And, there's no way to avoid them anyway! She will be great -I know this because of the love that is evident here. With that behind and inside of her, she has everything she needs.

Linda/patchwork said...

I remember fully, the day we drove away from our son, standing on the sidewalk and waving to us. To my eye, he was that tiny little boy, going off to first grade. Yes...there were tears.

They do remember what we've instilled in them. They sometimes make mistakes. But, that's how they learn...that's how WE learned. Sooner or later, they do figure out how to make that lemonade.

Then, you wake up one day, and they're the ones driving away from their child, waving goodbye on that sidewalk.

Indeed...How did it get so late so soon?

Kim Cunningham said...

I love your Lemonade analogy! Especially the part about never being allowed to have lemons. I have been a ball of nerves about my kids this week and all the pitfalls that seemed to be threatening. Ultimately. I'm Lear ing that I can control everything, as much as I might think I want to. So hard to let them go. If I know God is more committed to them than I could ever be, it should be easier.


Kathryn said...

I love this post. I found myself smiling at my own mothers words reflected here, especially when I left the UK and moved to the US. Love the photos and I'm sure your daughter will do great whether she comes up against lemons or lemonade. Hugs xoxox

debra @ frugal little bungalow said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post : )

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh my. This is just an awesome weaving of words. What a beauty your daughter is, ready to spread her wings and fly. You have done the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, to be a parent to raising great kids. There is nothing finer. My oldest is a sophomore. I have a few years but not many. I am trying to hold onto every single memory, whether he wants me to or not ;-) Thank you for sharing these delightful images and words! Enjoy the day, Miss Kim! Erin

Deanna said...

What a lovely post, Kim...filled with such wisdom and love. Parenting becomes you and I know your children will fly beautifully, making lemonade along the way.

Pat said...

Beautifully expressed thoughts.

Dotti said...

It is truly a bittersweet time; scary and exciting, as you said. It.was.the.worst.day.of.my.life. Ask my husband. We adjusted but oh, my! It.was.hard. On all of us. Of course, mine is an 'only'. The first night home, a friend called as I was setting the table and asked if I was okay. Choking back tears I assured her I was and hung up quickly. Then I looked at the table. I'd set three places. Needless to say, the dam broke ... again. We got through it ... and you will too. I'll be thinking of you all. Best of luck and lots of hugs.

Sherri B. said...

You've spoken of this so eloquently...it's both a proud and heartbreaking moment as they walk away. I was very proud that I held it all together until we got out of the dorm building...lol. In these last couple of years, I've watched my daughter grow and blossom into such a lovely young adult...it makes it easier to let go when you see them happy and embracing their independence. You're in my thoughts, Kim - with you as her parent, I have no doubt she's going to do incredibly well. xo

Carmel said...

Beautiful post to your beautiful images. Just so lovely.

June Caedmon said...

How ironic that this is the year you've been raising butterflies... God teaches and comforts us in beautiful ways. God bless you, Kim.

Kelly said...

Me oh My....Your daughter is such a cutie...and can I just say that image of her bed and that stuffed animal tugged at my heart strings. I totally get your analogy on rearing the butterflies and the kids...TOTALY! Great post today Kim

aspiritofsimplicity said...

exciting times

Ida said...

What a heartfelt post. It will be a time of growing for your daughter and for you as well but one I'm sure you'll both take on with gusto.

Sharon said...

What a lovely post. And beautiful writing. I've been in your shoes and I know how it is to feel that mixture of joy and loneliness. My daughter moved back home for grad school and we had so much fun together. We're still so close. Blessings to you and your family during this transition.

Susie Clevenger said...

They grow so fast. Such beautiful photos!!

Viv Halliwell said...

It is hard and painful to let them go but be assured they will call , ask for advice need you but maybe in different ways but they will always be your babies....

Linda R said...

What an amazing post!! Parenting for me was so scary. I just knew I was going to mess it up! But now looking back, my daughter turned out to be a responsible, beautiful young lady! I guess I did something right!

Big hugs my friend.

kathyinozarks said...

Kim-a beautiful post
Hugs Kathy

Jeanne said...

A beautiful beautiful post KIM. Know it is a struggle to send your oldest off, but there is so much more to come....

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