February 6, 2018

It’s Hard to be a Lighthouse

When I was a kid visiting my grandparents in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan one of my favorite adventures was scampering out to the Manistique lighthouse that overlooked Lake Michigan. On foggy mornings I could hear the fog horn bellowing. It was comforting to know that in all kinds of weather the lighthouse was on duty warning boaters and guiding them to safety.

As my children have grown and flown I find myself in the position of a lighthouse most of the time. I am not longer able to jump into action like the Coast Guard and fly to their rescue. It is part of that letting go process. No one tells you that it is a process. We like to think we do it once and we are done. But the reality is we do it over and over again. They leave home, fall in love, deploy-each time we let go and release them to fly higher and higher. Our ability to save them from falling becomes less and less. We are not physically there anymore like we were. It reminds me of pushing them on the swing set. First all their momentum came from us. ” Higher Mommy!” they would call out to us. Then one day they learned to pump themselves. And if yours were anything like mine the day would come when they would decide to launch themselves off to soar to a grand finish on the ground. At least we hope it is a grand finish…

Now I find myself solidly rooted on the homefront. I lift them up, send packages, pray. I volunteer to support the military. I advocate for military families. But my days of being the the protector, the rescuer, the one who fixes things are gone. They are adults who are well trained warriors. My role now is to  shine the light of love from home and occasionally bellow like a foghorn, “Be Safe”. But some days-well I’d rather be the Coast Guard. On the other hand, we all need lighthouses to depend on , don’t we?


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