A Launch Date could be just about anything.
"We launched the new computer program at work."
"We went to see the last Shuttle launch."
"A face that could launch a thousand ships..."
When I say Launch Date, it means one thing:
growing my child to a point that I am confident (as possible) that he/she is ready to be
That they can
~write a check
~pay a phone bill
~smile at a job interview
~dress appropriately for most occasions
~speak their mind clearly (and hopefully, humbly) and
~employ personal hygiene on a regular basis, without any reminders.
My internal guide says that I won't judge
how good of a Mom I have been
until the kid is 30.
Somehow, at 30, it seems like you are who you are going to be (sort of.)
People mess up in their 20's (I did, at least.) Some people mess up in big ways.
But by the time we hit 30 (I speak retrospectively), it just seems to me,
that most people have settled in their head
what they want their life to BE.
And like it or not, we suspect that we are the only ones that can BE us.
I'm not raising children. I'm raising adults.
I don't intend for my 30 year old sons to be childish.
I want them to be leaders in their homes, nurturing warriors, decent citizens.
I hope my 30-something daughters will be women with a passion and purpose who make choices because they are the right ones, and love hard, pray hard, and live (a little) hard.
Now, what was my point?
Oh yeah. Launch Dates.
I don't have a date set in my head when I expect any of our children to "launch," although there are certainly some appropriate times to expect it might happen. But in a daily way, preparing them to launch means I don't look at today's drama in the school room, or messes on the floor, or broken heart the same way.
The play ground disagreement needs to be handled like you hope they'll handle drama in the corporate world: with a solution-focused respect, a calm demeanor, and knowledge that life isn't always fair.
The messy floor needs to be dealt with by the one who made it, or sometimes, the by one who didn't make it, because a serving spirit is rewarded in so many lovely ways.
The broken heart needs patience to bind the wound, and arms to cry into, and a box of tissues nearby because sometimes, real love is hard.
I have plans to launch them.
And I'll know when I know.
I've had the experience of setting a child from our quiver onto the bow string, pulling back, determining the course I think he ought to fly, and being ready to let go with confidence. I've looked into a set of clear blue eyes and known he will be just fine, if perchance, I never have opportunity to pour one more thing into him.
That's a nice feeling.