The book Leaving sank deep into my heart. I am a mother of a young girl who I am trying my best to raise in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know I don't have much time with her and I attempt to cherish every single moment. Reading Leaving reminded me of the time in not too distant future when Chloe will leave my home and make her way in the world.
Needless to say, I cried for a major portion of this book. Bailey Flanigan is finally getting ready to leave her home and make her journey into the world. But not just her. Karen Kingsbury takes us back to other families we have come to love (like the Baxters) and shows us that they too are growing up and will eventually leave. Its just a part of life, this growing up and leaving. And it is something bittersweet for us mothers. We want so much to hold onto our children and keep them small, in our arms forever, but that is not the way life works.
I was challenged by reading this book to spend more time cherishing the moments. I remember a couple of weeks ago, Chloe had brought yet another stuffed animal to our bed for James and I to sleep with. Some nights find James and I sleeping with two - four stuffed animals each. I muttered one morning as I began gathering all these stuffed animals to place them back in Chloe's room that I was getting a little tired of doing this every morning. James quiet (and wise) reply was, "Don't worry. She will grow out of this soon enough and then you won't have any more stuffed animals piled on your bed to deal with." Ahhh! I am blessed with such a wise husband. In a matter of seconds I realized how silly my complaint was. I love it that my daughter brings me stuffed animals to sleep with and I know she won't do that for forever. It is a moment I now cherish instead of mutter about.
One word of caution I feel imperative to give regarding this book. Please, please, please, don't read this book the weekend of your child's birthday. I made that mistake and let me tell you, it was horrific. Had I chosen a different time, say mid-July, to read this book, I may have been able to get through it with less than a rainfall amount of tears.