Sunday, August 23, 2009

How do I say good-bye?

We spent a whirlwind 48 hours cutting the apron strings and releasing our eldest son into the world. In other words, he went off to college. Here he is with his R.A., Sam (in the middle), and Peter (right). We've known Sam since he was in elementary school.
Philip is at a REALLY GREAT COLLEGE, also known as my alma mater, and has a wonderful, godly, talented roommate (taught him for a year too). Philip has no worries; he's in a perfect place in his life.

It's me I'm worried about.

How in the world do you say good-bye to your baby boy? I don't know.

And believe me, I never dreamed I'd be one of those moms who got weepy and felt angst at her child's departure. We've joked for years about "finally getting these pesky kids out of here so we can have some fun"!! Ha!

For several months I've found myself crying at unexpected moments. The other day the whole family came back early from an errand, and I had to dash from the kitchen to avoid being caught with puffy eyes. Philip made me a CD a few months ago (he was really tired of the one I was listening to). And one song on that CD always erupts the tears for me.

He's just a great young man. I won't list his (many) flaws here, but I'll tell you that he is almost unfailingly responsible when it comes to serving others. He takes care of Julia like a daddy. He cooks well. He loves to be helpful. He can manage his own money and laundry and even does dishes. He will hug me and tell me he loves me when I need him to. He's the kind of teenager that even adults know instinctively they can lean on. He's just plain dependable.

So, yeah, I miss all those things. But that's not why you love your kids. I love Philip because he was my scrawny 1-week old, and my huge-brown-eyed 2 year old who wouldn't put his hands in the grass because it was DIRTY, and my precocious 4 year old who beat high schoolers at chess even though he didn't really like the game, and my 8 year old who played the head angel in the Christmas play even though he felt ridiculous, and my 11 year old who put up with homeschooling for 2 years even though he hated every day, and my 13 year old that I could hardly talk to, and my 15 year old who lived through a heart-breaking move without once complaining, and my 18 year old who turned out so well, in spite of all our mistakes.

He is all those boys, rolled into one, and I lost them all at the same time.

I'm hoping that I find he hasn't really left at all, that he comes back over and over again. I've heard that this happens. Last night I stood in his empty room. When I walked back up the stairs, I felt I'd aged 10 years in these 48 hours. I've never felt that way before.


  1. If you have aged, it's a good kind of ageing, the kind that makes a woman even better and more useful to her Father, and to everyone else. Good job, Mom!

  2. You make me cry. :( Even though I'm years from that day, I can feel with you. Dear Philip. Hugs.

  3. I have NO words of comfort... I felt the same way. The amazing thing is that they do really well without you. Philip is a treasure.
    Love you, dear one and blessings.

  4. Thanks, ladies. You know what? Tonight he emailed me an MP3 of him playing his trumpet: "I Sing the Mighty Power of God." He layered the parts together. It's really beautiful. That soothes the old heart a little.

  5. MK - I too have no words of comfort for you - except that you have a wonderful son - you and Adam have done a beautiful job and the Lord has blessed you with a wonderful young man. You have such a wonderful way of sharing Philip with us - we can all relate to those little boys all wrapped up in Philip and our hearts are touched.

    You should write a book MK - Love you Sweet Cousin!

  6. good friend. they don't come back often enough but when they do, they will prove to you that you have raised them right and show their love for you in words you never thought you would hear and then, just for icing on the cake, and i mean full fat butter cream double chocolate powdered sugar icing, they will raise their children the way you raised them. and you will get to fall in love with your children all over again in your grands. it's all good after all! rom. 8:28


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