Every parent knows that being a good mom or dad is the most difficult job in the world. No challenge is greater than giving your all to raise a child to become a responsible and honorable adult. And while it can seem exhausting and never-ending at times, the day soon comes when that son or daughter leaves home. It can be as challenging to see your children go as it was to raise them. In some ways, perhaps it's even more difficult.
But giving them wings to fly and find their independence is the task of parenthood. And that's the great irony of parenting-if we do it well, our children grow to need us less and less. As we truly, without guilt or over-protectiveness, set them free to find their calling in life, they leave with a sense of confidence and an assurance that, whatever happens, they are loved. And then, in moments and decisions large and small, thoughts and hearts return to the home that's filled with goodness and love.
Of course, no home, no parent, no son or daughter is perfect or without some problems. But that's the process of life. We give our hearts, we do our best, we learn and grow, and we become better and wiser. Life changes, children grow up and leave, and it seems that things will be forever different. And yet, though circumstances change, in a way they remain the same: We may not live together anymore, but we will always love each other. We may not see each other every day, but we are loyal and true to the timeless values taught and happy memories experienced in the home. We may move far away for a season, but always we are linked together-we forever belong to one another.
That sense of love and loyalty and belonging between parents and children can remain with us always. No matter where we travel, in our hearts we can ever be homeward bound.