Well, we’ve dropped off our youngest, Emily, to start University in Southampton and wondering if that makes us empty nesters? I realise there’s three years to go and even then the nest may not be entirely empty, but yesterday was a significant milestone in the Coles family. In pc world I’m probably not supposed to state the obvious, but it was different, as dad, saying goodbye to a daughter, as opposed to two previous sons. Why? Certainly not, in our case at least, anything about worrying Emily wouldn’t cope as well as a girl, or fearful of her abilities to live more independently than her brothers. Certainly, being the youngest was a factor for Maggie and I and what this symbolises, not simply for her development, but also for ours. However, for me, the difference boils down to one of relationship and the differences between male and female and how we actually relate with one another – not better, or worse, but different. Ben will be around, before he returns to Liverpool, for another week so it wasn’t quite registering all the other rooms were empty when I woke this morning, so that realisation will dawn next week, but we’re on the way.
Now of course, this will eventually get me on to how church systems allow, encourage, or stunt growth of their members into mature, individual followers of Jesus, but for now I just need to register and process how it all feels.