by Carol Brown

You know you’re a grownup when you no longer get a Spring Break. Gone are the days of taking our children to the beach or lake for a relaxing week in the sunshine. For the first time ever, I have continued my usual schedule of working, attending volunteer meetings, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner while the days of Spring Break week float on by. This is my last year as the parent of a high school student, so our family is still operating on the school calendar, but my children no longer need me to plan their Spring Break fun for them. They are quite capable of, and anxious to, plan their own trips to hike the Appalachian Trail or hit the beach with a group of friends.

Our days of parenting are far from over, but we are beginning to shift gears into another phase of life. Next fall, we will have two college students and no children at home. Friends have started asking us if we are ready for the “empty nest,” but with two tuition payments, we think it will be our bank account that is empty, rather than our nest. We know we’re not finished being parents, but we are shifting gears.

As I look ahead to the next phase of parenting, I look around me and see many families with young children who are just beginning the wonderful adventure of parenthood. At Highland Hills, we want to nurture and support parents as they work through the issues of faith, discipline, and family traditions.

This spring, parents and soon-to-be parents are invited to attend a six-week parenting class during the weeks of April 15 through May 20. This class will meet each Sunday morning in the Great Room during these weeks. All parents are welcome to attend, but we specifically want to bring together parents of preschoolers and young children who are just starting out on this journey of parenthood. So bring your fears, frustrations, hopes, and dreams and gather with us as we share and learn from each other about the ups and downs of being parents. 

I know our days of parenting are not over, but as we move into the next phase of life, I will offer a small piece of advice: Enjoy the “Spring Break years” while you have them!