Home Alone

Home Alone

The house is quiet.

And clean.

My errands are run.

Dinner is cooked.

Jack is asleep in front of the vent.

It’s been over a week now since we took our youngest, Chad, to college. And several weeks since Drew moved into his new apartment in Jacksonville. chad and kevinfollowing

A monkey lamp given to Chad by Dan and Kami.

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This summer, Chad showing me his schedule. schedule

We are embarking into a new stage of life. People call it an empty nest. I don’t really like that saying. It’s not empty. I’m still here.  So is Kevin.

There is really nothing to prepare yourself for the day you take your kids to college and that feeling when you turn your back and leave. It’s tough.

Years, months, days and hours of knowing it’s coming. And then you are in your car driving off.

There is plenty to do to prepare yourself for AFTER though. Having and keeping a great relationship with your spouse is the number one. (And keeping busy is another.)

But back to leaving kids.

After orientation at Harding this summer I felt it was the absolutely best place Chad could attend. The words the President spoke touched the hearts of every parent there as he told HIS Harding story.

My prayers have been answered. I am at peace. I know God has a plan for Chad and I am excited to see his future unfold there.

BUT little things strike a heart string during this process that is so hard on a mom’s heart. This clothes hamper sitting on his new bed. I catch a glimpse of the red yard tied to it. the basket

The boys use to BOTH get in this basket and pretend it was a boat and go fishing. This was their fishing line. I have never been able to part with this basket!

I can vividly recall the first trip I made to Wal-mart when both kids were in school for the first time. It felt so strange and like I had forgotten them. I felt this same strangeness as I grocery shopped this week. I went down the snack isle then realized I didn’t need a single thing on this isle.

The phone rang early one morning and I instantly thought I hope that didn’t wake Chad up. Then remembered he wasn’t home anymore.

Pains in the heart.

I made Chad’s new bed up when we were moving him in and I laid down on it. I took this picture of me. I thought about Chad and all the things he will do, see and learn while here. I prayed for him. And for me. thinking

We’ve done the best we know how to prepare him. With the help of many and trusting in God we have left him to sail his own ship.

Parenting is tough, teen years even tougher. We watch the potential in our children grow and when a milestone is met we take a deep breath and coast for a brief moment before gearing up for the next.

Here’s to coasting for a while.

selfies

 

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12 thoughts on “Home Alone

  1. Katey, thank you for sharing life with us. I read your post through tears this morning as it took me back to the time we were waving good-bye. Am sharing what I wrote over 20 years ago–unbelievable how time flies!!
    Waving Good-bye
    June 1993

    For twelve years, I have taught the Sunday School baby class. By the time these precious babies are six months old, the mothers go through the gyrations of trying to get their babies to throw up that tiny hand and “wave bye-bye”. It usually takes months before the mission is accomplished but on that day when baby finally performs—my, what celebration. There are the hugs and smiles; and pride burst forth with, “Mommy’s baby! Oh how sweet. You’re so smart. You’re getting to be a big boy. I’ve been telling them you can wave bye-bye.”
    Is there something instinctive about moms beginning early to teach their children to say good-bye? Perhaps a few times in my life, good-bye has been a happy occasion—more like “good riddance”—but most of my good-byes have torn at my heart.
    My goal for my three children was for them to become independent, productive, happy people. To do this has necessitated waving good-bye many times. I watched my first born, Andy, climb onto that army green bus, turn around, throw that hand up and wave, “Bye-bye Mom”, and go off to kindergarten.
    Before long it was time for him to wave good-bye as he headed off to college. After college graduation, there was helicopter pilot training at Ft. Rucker—going off on his own—and another good-bye. In March, he moved to Kansas. When he pulled out of our driveway—the car cram-packed—he threw up that same hand and waved good-bye…and I remembered…
    My children are doing just what I had hoped they would do. Even though the heart hurts to wave good-bye, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    It seems one has to wave good-bye in order to progress—maybe with some sadness, but ultimately to go on to greater things. Sometimes, when I’m feeling “homesick” for my children, I want to tell the Sunday School moms not to push it! Truth is, I also began 24 years ago teaching Andy to wave good-bye…and, in my own way, I am still celebrating that he has prepared himself and for now, the mission is accomplished.

    • Tina, this is beautiful!!! As I wrote this I thought about how many times our kids are the ones turning their backs to go, and as teens it’s all the time. Preparing us! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely thoughts! Relevant any year! Katey

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