Circle of Life
Oct 08, 2012 06:10AM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print
My friends brought their daughter home from the hospital the other day.
Don’t worry, she’s fine – she was just born there. This is the family’s fourth trip home from such an event. Four kids, all living at one place called home.
My family brought babies home from the hospital, too. The first time it happened we were living in the Philippines. We have a blond-haired, green-eyed Filipina. We brought her home twice – once to our home in Davao City, and then later to the U.S., our home country. Eventually we brought our son and our other daughter home as well.
Now it’s different. Now my kids come home on their own – on their own power, their own time, and their own agenda. (Sometimes on my dime.) When my wife was pregnant, we had to wait. Nine months seems like an awfully long time, especially through the summer. And we waited, because you can’t hurry these things. Now, with all of my kids in their 20s, the waiting continues. I’m waiting today; my youngest is coming home tonight. She’s the maid of honor in a wedding in Yosemite, and when the party’s over she’s driving home for the weekend. All by herself, all grown up. I can’t wait, but I do. You can’t hurry these things.
I often wonder what it was like for my parents when they were waiting. As they dropped me off at college that first year, I’m sure they thought, “I wonder when he’ll come home.” When I moved out of state for graduate school, they waited. When I moved across the Pacific Ocean for a year with my pregnant wife and their future grandbaby due the next spring, they waited. I can only guess, because I never asked them; I was on an adventure and was so eager to get my life started that I never turned around to see the look on their faces. I could see that look today if I glanced in a mirror. Did I mention my daughter’s coming home?
It’s not too late to have this conversation with my mom. She still waits for me. We have a ritual – I call her every Sunday afternoon. It began 25 years ago when Donna, my wife, and I were just starting Lakeside Church in Folsom. Every Sunday my mom would call to see how the church did that day; she wanted to be a part of the adventure. These days she waits for my call.
We hear a lot about adult kids returning home today. They launch and then return home. They set out again, but come back. I know it’s good for them to be independent; I know it’s a part of growing up; but I actually like it when they’re home again.
I imagine someday they’ll come home with a family of their own, which will change things again. I’ll keep waiting. You can’t hurry these things.
Brad Franklin is the founding and lead pastor at Lakeside Church in Folsom.