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  1. Mary Arnholt says:

    Thanks for this article, Monica. It is really full of good stuff. My son is a senior and I just realized that I haven’t been as intentional and I intended…to spend the time with him as much as I could have. It was difficult to fight the video games and devices and I tried to learn how to play (and failed) and still try to relate with him about his phone. I feel like there is a gap in our relationship, which may just be the difference in his personality and mine (he’s quiet like my husband and I desire conversation). Anyway, I will continue to seek areas where we can spend time together enjoying activities. He has grown up own church, but is also a very talented swimmer. He spends most of his time at the pool and with his teammates. He hasn’t been as plugged in to the community as your son. I think I may need some encouragement here!! I didn’t mean to write a novel…I just wanted to say your article hit a tender spot. Thanks for writing it!! Take care, Mary

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Mary. I hear your heart and I hope that ‘tender spot’ the article hit isn’t discouraging…I guarantee you have done well in a thousand ways and no two of our kids’ stories will be the same. You still have time to invest in your relationship with your son and I encourage you to plan some “dates” (away from games or devices, etc.) and just be honest that you want to be sure to know him well before it is his time to launch. And don’t compare — your son’s journey will be unique. And you may very well grow in relationships with him after he launches. All of that to say, bless you and keep up the good work. I’m cheering for you! (And praying for you!) XO Monica

  2. Rebecca Bryant says:

    Great Blog post! I would love to hear your thoughts post-COVID as well, (as I think a lot of this applies no matter what) but MAN these high school kiddos (well, really everyone) who basically missed two years of high school and then launching….
    there just seems to be more “pieces” than pre-COVID.
    I will say, I wish I had been more intentional with the time we had at home with our family. We kept thinking, “this is temporary”…when in reality, it was a long time! And we definitely could have been more intentional with how we used it. Particularly for our launching kids!
    Cooking Lessons (cleaning up better) from cooking, Looking for the best price at the grocery store, etc.
    But launching is still happening…twins off to freshman year of
    College..and two still at home.
    Hoping I am more mindful for the next two!

  3. Penny Nakamura says:

    Dear Monica & Dave, Congratulations on your successful launch of Josiah! That is so exciting for all of you, though I know he’ll be greatly missed in Hawaii.
    Still, Westmont College in Santa Barbara couldn’t be more beautiful, it’s not Hawaii, but it may be the next best thing.
    Sent two kids off to two different colleges on the East Coast, and I bawled both times, it’s never easy. I think you said it best in the metaphor of cutting the umbilical cord, but never cutting the heart strings. Loved your highlights of a successful launch, they were spot on.
    Much love, Penny

  4. Thank you for sharing Monica! Launching is always in the back of my mind. We have three years before the first of three lunches. Thanks for the great tips from experience, hard work, and love!

  5. My son started his freshman year going to school in Michigan, we live in Huntington Beach CA. It was extremely hard to make the decision to allow him to go to Michigan. Everyone would say how could you allow your only child, you had at 40 years old go away to school at the young age of 15 years old. My answer is always how could I not. Preparing him to go began 2 years before and was very intentional. Intentionally allowing him to make decisions and seeing the results. We are so proud of him.
    That’s the word that is key- Intentional

  6. Tanja Homeister says:

    ..I can only agree with you Monica!! It is so important to give them the space to grow to independent young adults.
    It makes it so much easier to let them go, when you know they will absolutely manage their life (even if their will be some “miss steps” (and hopefully there will be some!!)).
    Still I find it hard to have him so far away and thinking if he’s doing OK!!
    Regards from Switzerland (having the son in NY) – Tanja

    1. Thank you Tanja! Yes, you do have some distance between you!! I’m missing Josiah as well, but you’re so right it is such a blessing when we know they’re ready. Hang in there and keep me posted on how you are all doing!! xo

  7. I really loved reading this. Our oldest two are sophomores this year (with a freshman, 8th and 7th following!), so we will be here in a few years! I just appreciate your honesty and wisdom. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Shelley! Your time will come quickly, however it will help to have the others still at home…A little at a time! 😉 Aloha!

  8. GREAT BLOG!! Our most important goal in raising our kids was also to make sure they know they are created by God to do wonderful things in this lifetime with all their gifts and talents they’ve been given! So, on move-in day, our launch with our youngest went very well. Yes, we ARE empty nesters now – flooded with mixed emotions! But, our youngest is very independent. And artistic. And athletic. And loves Jesus. Our launch was much quicker than I expected because he was SO ready to get his room decorated on his own and head out to meet friends! Instead of being sad that he didn’t invite us to stay longer, we celebrated that he is SO ready for this phase, and is embracing it!

    1. Yay!! That is great Deanne! Dave and I also celebrated. It is a huge relief to see them so happy! I knew Josiah would be…but seeing that smile and feeling such peace was a huge blessing! Appreciate you sharing your experience! aloha-