What picture comes to your mind when you hear about a cow named Daisy? Do you see a soft-eyed jersey with a sweet, calm nature? That's what my son and I were hoping for when we adopted a baby twin calf from our neighbor one spring for a homeschooling project. Although she was not a jersey, she did have the sweetest face with big eyelashes that looked like the petals on a daisy. Thus she was named, and a new adventure in raising a baby calf began for my son.

My misconception of the nurturing abilities of small boys was blown away as my son faithfully cared for his new little friend. Dutifully, he mixed bottles of calf milk replacer for her to drink. Outings with friends were postponed to keep Daisy on a regular feeding schedule, and school assignments were done in the barn, so she wouldn't feel alone. Like a mother hen with her chicks, my son proved to be the ideal parent of this little life.

However, Daisy didn't stay little. With all her expert care, she began to grow stronger. At 300 pounds, I knew Daisy needed to be taught how to lead, so we could take her out to the pasture to eat grass. Accomplishing this task proved to be successful at first, but then at 500 pounds, Daisy started to push her weight around. Many times I watched my frustrated young son dragging and being half drug by Daisy as he took her from the barn to the pasture. When Daisy's weight reached 900 pounds, we had a real problem. Daily, she would jump the pasture fences to be near our house. No matter if flowers or gardens were in her way, Daisy went wherever she wanted. The time had come to sell Daisy, so she could discover her own nurturing abilities. However, one problem stood in the way — the love of my young son for this once little, but now huge cow. How do you sell your "child" and watch her leave?

Sending your children off into the world isn't easy for homeschoolers either. As we teach our children, we forget that someday they will need to leave our home. Keeping the right perspective and preparing yourself and your child for that day takes a determined effort. God's example of cutting the strings best demonstrates how we can face that day when our children need to leave. He sacrificed His only begotton Son when Christ came to this sinful Earth (John 3:16), so we could receive forgiveness. Praise Him "that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all" (Romans 8:32a).

Father, thank You for the blessing of homeschooling my children. Help me to remember they belong to You, and someday, they will serve You on their own. Give me wisdom to know when that time has come. In Jesus' name, Amen.