I’ve always joked that I wanted my kids to live with me forever (or minimally across the street). Even when they were babies, the thought of them going to college made me weepy. Last week I saw a picture Faithe drew when she was little and I burst into tears thinking about her going to college next year. Then Covid-19 made my dream a reality.

And I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love having my family together. I love not having that unrest when I lock the door at night knowing two of them aren’t home. I love watching movies with the girls and talking politics with Casey. Yes, I could do without their messes and occasional eye rolls. They’re used to cohabitating with college kids who don’t mind clutter, crumbs, and couch dining. It’s always difficult addressing things you’ve drilled into your adult children for 18+ years (but they somehow act like they’ve never heard before), but I can live with that. So why do I hate that the pandemic has forced my family to be together when that’s all I’ve ever wanted?

It’s not the way things are supposed to be.

My daughter is graduating from college in May. She’s ready to start working, move out, and enjoy “lasts” with college friends. My son has transitioned into dorm life as a freshman without looking back. He loves his classes, friends, and independence. My youngest was disappointed when her college tours last week were cancelled. She misses her friends, youth group, and math class (I know. She’s strange.).

Covid-19 has robbed my adult and almost adult children of that which we’ve tried to ready them: adulting. Moving out when I was eighteen was exciting and fun. I was (for the most part) ready and I was definitely eager to fly. Covid-19 has clipped my kids wings and as much as this mama bird thought she’d always love having them in her nest forever, I’m watching and realizing more and more that they are both ready and meant to fly.

Thank you, Corona virus. You suck and we hate you. You’ve taken too many innocent lives. You’ve made an already too socially distant world even more isolated. You’ve instilled fear, paranoia, and toilet paper hoarding into the lives of millions. But there are always things we can learn and take from difficulty. Some lessons are big and some, like this one, are small but significant.

And as I thought about all of this today, I thanked God. I thanked Him for a seemingly insignificant insight that reminded me, He knows best. I thanked Him for the reminder that there are reasons He doesn’t say yes to all our hopes, dreams, and prayers. I thanked Him that I can enjoy the next however-many-weeks with my children, knowing that He designed them to fly. And I thanked Him for helping me learn I can also fully trust Him, with out my input or control, with where they land.