I am sad. It’s like something has permanently changed and life will never be the same again.
Our daughter went to University this September. I’m so pleased for her – she achieved excellent A-level results and gained entry to her chosen university, course and career. I am definitely a proud Dad.
But I have to admit I am sad as well.
I know she’s been away before – holidays with friends, Christian camps, D of E activities – but this time there is a real sense of permanent change. She’s coming back in the holidays; yet she has also begun to move out of the family home.
My wife and I are trying to get used to it.
I know we can be in contact any time – not like queuing for the payphone of yesteryear. I also know I must resist doing too much contact as well. I will not be a ‘helicopter parent’!
The joyful strengths of family ties are revealed through such circumstances.
That’s why I’m all too aware of how fortunate we are as a family in that we look forward to seeing each other, unlike the conversation I overheard at the Southampton Boat Show: a young woman talking to a friend on her mobile about Christmas plans, “My dad doesn’t want to see me.”
I was deeply hurt for her.
The physical family can be a joyous unit of love, acceptance and welcome, of learning, dependency and interdependency.
I wanted to let that young woman know that her heavenly Father wanted to see her, and that His family, the church, wanted her to know she was welcomed, accepted and loved too.