A Chat with a University Mum
Here at King's, we love our students and welcome them, old and new alike with the same family spirit we extend to everyone who walks through the doors of any of our three sites. Amongst the excitement of starting a new phase of life, living away from home (maybe for the first time), it seems a good opportunity to reflect on the other side of the story - the parents, waiting in the wings, hoping all the best for their student-child.
I spoke with Alison Venn - whose youngest child, Matthew, has just gone away to university. She said it is strange not having her son around, there's a gap where he has been for the last eighteen years; and a hope that she prepared him enough for life away from home-cooking and a free washing machine!
As her children grow up and move out and away, particularly now the youngest is out making his mark on the world, Alison is looking to what shape her life will now take. She was telling me how she feels more able to be spontaneous, rather than her life revolving around her children. It was some of the advice she said she would give to other parents in similar situations, with children moving out; make sure there is still space for you in your life - so that the change in role from hands-on-parent to at-a-distance-supporter is made easier. Alison also counselled trust in God and peace - worrying does nothing to help or change the situation. She takes comfort in God’s faithfulness and the fact that her children are where God wants them to be and He will always be by their side.
As loved as they are by their earthly parents, Alison said, children are only with them for a season; they have to be allowed to fly the nest and their parents must trust in God that His plans for them will be fulfilled. Alison’s main prayers for her children are that they always know God is with them and that their reliance and trust in Him is automatic through tough times and good, and to discover what He has in store for them.