peeling off

For our family time tonight we had some quiet journal writing time. As the younger boys were finishing up, my husband and I sat in a different room with my number 2 son and talked about upcoming short-term and long-term goals. He is 18 and preparing to graduate in May, and time is slipping by like an hourglass with a super-wide neck.

drivers license
summer job
duty to god (church goals for the young men)
housing for his one semester of college before leaving on a mission
piano goals (getting a dozen or so hymns down really well)
self-sufficiency goals (ability to cook a dozen meals on his own)

We get them. We do our best. We let them go.

From 6 to 5. Soon 5 to 4. I know they are still going to be mine. I believe in the eternal nature of families, it's just that the nature of my family is undergoing change.

It is strange to spend more and more time with myself. Sometimes I have these flashes of memories from my childhood with my parents and siblings, and then here I am, eons later, sending my own kids out with warm wishes and bottomless barrels of hope. It is a good experience, just a tender one. And sometimes I miss them before they even go.

So I am in that middle stage of motherhood, and I am doing my best to roll with it. I fly down the hill just fast enough to have the adrenaline swish through me, but slow enough to control the blur.


Connie | March 23, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Adam will do well on his own. He's had some good teachers and good examples. Believe me when I say, "I know how you feel." Sometimes there's more blur than we want.

April | March 23, 2009 at 11:14 PM

Amen! My senior is 17, he will go to a year at Dixie State and then off on a mission. My other son comes home in 10 days and then begins his life. I will be alone with my husband and their bills. :)

CHERRANNE | March 24, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Man. And not too long ago, (or so it seems) I had that adorable red-head-now with chops-in a kindergarten class I aided. Whew. Give him all My best! But as You said........Moms are ALWAYS Moms. He is a guy to be proud of!

LisAway | March 24, 2009 at 2:53 AM

I love that you talk to him about his goals. That's terrific. We need to start doing those little counseling session with our kids. (we sort of do it, just not formally)

And I love that his goals include so much that will help him when he's on his own. I think so many kids don't have anything like that when they leave home.

Luann | March 24, 2009 at 6:05 AM

I already feel like life is a blur and my kids are growing up faster than I can keep up. And they are only 2-12. The thought of handling the pace for an 18 year old kind of makes me short circuit. Like you said, I miss them already and they are still years away from leaving.

Lara Neves | March 24, 2009 at 8:19 AM

You are such a good mom. I love the goal setting.

I can't quite imagine the time when I have to let my kids go out in the world. I know I have a good nine years, but I still cry whenever I think about having to do it.

Midge | March 24, 2009 at 10:11 AM

From the time the children are born they are already leaving us. Growing, learning new ways to be self effecient. I guess for us, as mothers, it is a good thing that they do this a step at a time, and it takes some time to master them all. From saying "good-bye" at the Kindergarten door to "congradulations" at graduation we practice letting go and they practice flying on their own. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Erin | March 24, 2009 at 10:53 AM

I know what you mean about missing your kids before they even go...Morgan will be in kinder in just a few short months, and I miss her terribly already. All I can think about is how fast these five years have flown by, and how I'll blink my eyes, and she'll be graduating...just like Adam.

Lanie | March 24, 2009 at 1:32 PM

From one who has been through the experience more than once..I know exactly how you feel. The day Dad and I said goodbye to you when you went to BYU, we knew that you would probably not return to Virginia. We cried a few tears on our trip home, but, we knew that you would always belong to us, no matter where you were. And then look at all the joy from that adventure, we now have Gid and the best grandsons ever. Life is good. God gives us our children to teach them the way and then they in turn show others the way. So, Go Adam..I have no doubt that you can handle any've been taught well. I love you all.

Linde | March 25, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Even though Jacob just turned one, I can already see how fast the years are going to fly by. I still think, on a day-to-day basis, some days/weeks are very long, but over all it goes fast!

Mrs4444 | March 25, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Loved the way you wrote's very real.

wendy | March 25, 2009 at 9:25 PM

That was beautifully put. Although there are times I wish I could still rock my little ones to sleep, pick out their cloths, and read them stories----it is a good time of my life now with them all gone. You learn to adjust, and then find "hey, this is a fun time for me--learn more about me" I love it when the all come over and with all the grandkids ---and when they leave, I giggle thinking, wow, I love my peace and quiet.

Heidi | March 26, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Wow! How did I miss this! I have to be better about checking to see if I miss a post of yours from now on! (I'm missing a lot lately!) Anyway, this is just terrific, as usual!

Curly | March 27, 2009 at 9:06 PM

I wanted to cry when I read this blog, but I know how that annoys you so I sucked it up!

Kazzy | March 28, 2009 at 12:31 AM

Crying doesn't annoy me. I do it all the time! I guess I just need people around me to not cry so I do it less. LOL

Little GrumpyAngel | March 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

You seem to be doing everything right at this stage of motherhood. I on the other hand am having a very difficult makes me want to cry sometimes. I just feel like I have not done all I can to prepare my kids, and I'm practically out of time.