The most challenging part of the empty nest for me right now is learning how to be available to my adult children when they have needs: new babies, significant life events like turning 30 or a graduation, keeping the kids for them so they can get away with their spouses.

But it’s not just showing up when they need us, but being there just to be with them and enter into their world. They want us to watch our grandkids play T-ball and basketball and graduate from pre-school. There are baby dedications, Christmas pageants, birthday parties, and baptisms, too. And we want to be there! How often I have wished I could be in two places at one time. Oh, and by the way, none of our adult children live in town. They are literally scattered from coast to coast.

My daughter, Rebecca, who is expecting her first baby recently had her first baby shower. I was invited, of course, but she lives over 1,000 miles away! To justify a plane ticket and the travel time, I would have needed to be gone for a minimum of three days. So we tried something new — a high-tech solution. I asked her to take her Mac to the baby shower and call me so I could watch her open gifts and listen to the ‘ooos’ and ‘ahs’ via the Internet. Great idea, huh?

I’m so grateful that my children want Dennis and me to still be a part of their lives. I know that is not always the case. I also know that not being able to always be there is good for them and for us. I do feel some guilt when I have to say “no” to them. I know it would make life easier for them if I was always available to babysit and help when they needed it, but I also know God is using all of these dilemmas for their good and mine. Trusting Him with their lives really never ends …