A Prayer as Sons and Daughters Move Out

In September, many young people move out of “home” for the first time and move into college or university dorms.  I offer this prayer for all those who have struggled with packing boxes, finding space in the boots of cars for “just one more thing”, and returning home – car empty with a little bit of you suddenly seeming very distant.  x



It’s so quiet!

Too quiet.

Quiet enough for the doubts to creep into my head.

Did I remember to tell her about…?

Did I show him how to…?

Will they remember to…?


The last minute speech was well-rehearsed

All the last minute instructions were given

Did I remember everything?

God, help me,

help them if I forgot anything.


I’ve watched this person grow,

From the moment I first held them,

To now,

Even now,

Separated by distance.

My son, my daughter still growing,


Answering life’s challenges in the same courageous way they always have.

Not afraid of scuffed shoes or scraped knees

Trees will be climbed

Scooter ticks performed

Blank walls painted

Life will be lived to the full

Even now


Protect my son, my daughter, God.

I pray all I’ve taught is enough,

A good start, for them to thrive,

Not just survive.

For them to be alive,

And not just living.

I pray they enjoy the life you’ve given.

Help them to discover you, the life giver, as their life unfolds.

With each step along the way

Each pint of celebration

Each shared cookie dough of commiseration

Each belly laugh that snorts through the nose and brings salty tears.

Let them know you are with them,

Cheering them on,

Calling them “home”, wherever on earth that may be.


My home is quiet without them

Except for the cheering.

Let them hear the cheering!

My celebration of the man, the woman they are!



Help them become the person you are calling them to be.




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