Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When They're Far Away

On our trip last week we spent several days visiting Anna, but we also dashed up to Cullowhee to see Peter at his college. It was good to see both of them. I love having adult children; they're delightful. You get the satisfaction of seeing all those years of hard work paying off, producing a lovely full-fledged human :)
Anna and Julia stand outside Anna's housing unit.
Anna's dorm room. College girls are messy.
I spotted this painting on her wall! It's one my mother had for years. (My mother has many artist friends, and accumulated much lovely artwork.) I didn't know this one had gotten away! I think it was painted by Ann Calvert, a dear friend. I told Anna that if she ever doesn't want it ... it must come to me! :)
Adam attended several classes with Anna, most in this building where her department is located.
Of course, we visited the famous Toccoa Falls. The water plummets in a 186 ft. sheer drop. Julia hadn't seen it before.

We'd gone shopping the day before, and both girls bought these loose, comfy pants at a great outlet store in Toccoa.
Adam was definitely the dog-corraller for the week.
Julia clambered on the rocks.

Adam's expression doesn't change. Drives me nuts.

Modern girls and their machines!
We spent Saturday with Peter. He's having a busy junior year. He's an R.A. (resident assistant), and that takes more time than when I did it, years ago! He's also doing well in his Business-Law degree.
We got lunch and ate at a picnic table at the public library in Sylva, NC, overlooking the old town.
We strolled around the shops for a bit. Julia always hides from my camera unless I plead. Peter told me flatly that he would NOT tolerate any photos of him this time. The one I posted above had to be sneaked from a distance.
Here's Peter's dorm this year. He's in charge of one floor of students.
He has a private room, as an R.A., and he has office hours. He's in charge of social events on the hall. They make "door decs," these little name decorations. Each door is littered with them.
Western Carolina University is probably the most beautiful UNC campus.
We drove back to Anna's college that evening. She worked on some of her embroidered pillow cases while I knitted on Adam's sweater vest.

I find it difficult to watch my children's lives -- not unpleasant, mind you, but just emotionally challenging. I'm not a domineering or over-protective parent. No helicopter mommying here. But I worry. I worry more about them now than when I had them carefully tucked under my own roof each night. When you fling them out into the world, you fling a chunk of your heart with them. I listen as they consider dating, marriage, career choices, graduate school, overseas travel. Peter is such a natural at sports; he plays ultimate frisbee for fun and works out in the gym to stay in shape. Anna is determined to return to China as soon as she can. She's contacting agencies who hire English teachers there. All I can do it sit, listen, pray, encourage. But it's all so uncomfortable! What would feel comfortable to this mama's heart? Why, having them all home under my roof again, of course! Which is a ludicrous thought! To have children grown is to be in a state of constant discomfort as they go do all the things they are meant and destined to do, and we watch in wonder. But I am only ever perfectly at rest when I have them in my arms. That lasts one moment, then I say, "I love you," and they are gone again.


  1. If you think that room is messy, you haven't seen my daughter's room. She has just left home at the grand old age of 20 and also left me a huge mess to clear up. It will take me weeks to clean and redecorate. We are pleased she feels old enough to go it alone. I left home at 18 and Hubby left at 19 to live in a different country. We keep reminding ourselves of this whenever we start to worry.

  2. I am not quite there yet, but I have many friends who are, and I think it can be a bit of a lonely time. I think it helps that you do have a life of your own, but still, they are the ones that remain closest to your heart.

  3. my tell me that, that I have three, one for going to college and want to get a scholarship in the USA, because here there is not the career you want to study, it's a mixed feeling you see big, happy and keeps your partner fortunately good partner, and your husband talking about it does not change her face is having a great woman by his side.

  4. Wonderful family times depicted here! I got such a kick out of Adam's expression; Vic's doesn't change in photographs, either.

    I know how you feel about seeing your kids grow up. Mixed feelings can be a little tough. Isn't it wonderful, though, when they are independent and confident and going in the right direction? Our son is 42, a husband and a father. It's such a blessing to know him as a grown man.

  5. It IS hard when our chicks are away, we don't know what they're doing, and they may flounder. You are good parents.

  6. My Mum had to put up with me at home till I was 28. Then she got married,moved out and left me in the house for another 5 years!!
    Poor Mum! I'm VERY messy! It's lovely you treasure your children.

  7. What is that lizard??? Amazing!! I love Anna's embroidery too!

  8. I remember those collage days with my girls, strange and lonely in the beginning, but then you adjust. My husband and I found the empty nest time quite beautiful.
    Your time away looked to be wonderful, what a joy.
    I especially enjoyed the photos of you and your hubby.
    Sweet blessings to you.
    Joy! Debbie

  9. What a great post, shared by a loving wife and mother.


  10. But you really have reared superb people. MK. Respect!

  11. It is hard sometimes to let them go. Mine still lives here though and it's harder because she's an adult, married and yet still living at home (they can't afford not to) so you feel odd trying to give advice to them and yet let them have their own space. Glad you got to spend time with your kids. Looks like you saw a lot and had a great time.


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