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‘Can’t stop smiling and crying’: mom sends firstborn son to college

After sending her son to freshman year at college, a mother reflected on parenting “with her whole heart” and God’s “wild grace.”

“This isn’t a feeling anyone can prepare you for,” author Jeannie Cunnion wrote about saying goodbye to one of her five chldren in an op-ed last week for Fox News. “It’s a strange thing to feel so many conflicting emotions. Excitement, grief, happiness, loss, pain, pride, peace, longing for more time and looking forward to all that’s ahead.”

Later, a friend texted Cunnion (pictured) to ask how she was doing.

“I replied by explaining how my eyes were puffy and swollen since we’d said goodbye to our son just a few hours earlier,” Cunnion wrote. “‘I’m just going to miss him so much.'”

“You left it all on the field!” her friend told her.

Cunnion agreed. “As a mom of five boys, all of whom play sports, this analogy makes sense to me,” she wrote.

“I was all in. I wasn’t lost in him or his life. I just played with my whole heart. I gave him everything I’ve got. I always will.”

She continued:

Leaving it all on the field doesn’t mean I played perfectly. … I dropped the ball a lot, even fumbled it at times. … We make mistakes and ask for forgiveness and learn from the failure and get back in the game.

But sometimes I caught the ball, even got a first down. Occasionally I scored a touchdown. We were, and will remain, a great team. …

This doesn’t mean my identity was tied up in being his mom. It wasn’t. My identity is in being an unconditionally loved child of God.. ..

This also doesn’t mean I needed him to succeed in school or sports because that meant I succeeded as a mom. His success, nor his struggles, are a statement about how well I did or didn’t do as a mom. …

But more than anything, God was our coach. …. He has a plan for my son that is better and bigger than what I often felt pressure to orchestrate for him.

“I’m no longer on the field with my firstborn son, but I’ll be cheering wildly from the stands – and praying harder than ever – as he embarks on this journey,” Cunnion wrote.

Read the whole article.

IMAGE: jeanniecunnoin.com

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