"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Friday, August 21, 2009

We did it...

I'm not sure I can trust myself to write coherent thoughts right now...but it seems to be the thing that causes me to work through and deal with my emotions.
I'm exhausted in every sense of the word today. I woke up that way, actually. We had an awesome day yesterday moving Alex into his dorm, meeting his RA and some of the guys who'll be on his floor.

Alex and his best friend/roomate, Drew, can make even a dull moment seem like a party!

The months of anticipation of what the drop-off day would be like had been building up inside me, but it was nothing like what I expected it to be like. Really...I laughed alot! It helps that I already really love Drew and his family, so 8 of us hanging out together in their tiny little room was actually kind of a hoot!
One of the unexpected little blessings of the day was laughter when I had anticipated alot of tears. Don't get me wrong, at the appropriate time-the very end of the day, the tears came...for all 4 of us, really. Wait, mine actually started at dinner when Nick started the countdown- reminding me every few minutes exactly how much time was left before I had to "leave my firstborn child at college"!!

We were having a great time at dinner, just the four of us, and suddenly, just the reminder that "there are exactly 25 minutes left, mom.." turned on tears like a faucet! Funny thing how that works....I wasn't even feeling like crying! But just the reminder made my eyes water! I imagine it probably was just as funny as my kids thought it was...but they could have been nicer and STOP REMINDING ME JUST SO THEY COULD SEE IF IT HAPPENED AGAIN! I should punish them or something.
So, anyway...all in all it really was a great day. We made some new memories and enjoyed our last day together as a family.

Here are some of my favorite memories of the day...

*Watching the boys say goodbye to Kelly, the other best friend in the group

*The Philly Exit...and feeling butterflies in my stomach, knowing there was no turning back

*Driving in the driveway and seeing the welcome and "Check-in" signs

*Watching the boys discover what was in the other person's boxes

*Alex's reaction to...

Drew's duck phone...

*Watching Drew get his eyebrows trimmed with LARGE scissors, and thoroughly enjoying it!

My most favorite memory is one I can't really capture in a picture. I wished so much I had a video camera rolling, but this snapshot was taken at the end of the night when we were saying our goodbyes...the exact same time I heard Alex whisper in his brother's ear,

Hey, take care of mom and Em, ok? Do you hear me?

I love you

A moment forever embedded into my memory.

About that time I decided not to hold back any longer and the tears came. It was a sweet moment with alot of hugs and "I love you's"...and then we were gone. The ride home was quiet...Nick and Emma gave me the time to drive and curl up into my own thoughts for a while. Coming home was weird. It's not like Alex has spent a whole lot of time here this summer...it's been a few months of freedom and fun for him. But driving in the driveway, just the three of us, my heart actually ached. Our family dynamic is different. One of us is missing. It's still good...just different. It'll take a while...like for instance, when I got that ache again tonight when I pulled out three dinner plates, not four....it's going to take some getting used to, this college-thing.

Fortunately for me, there was no time this morning for feeling sorry for myself. After very little sleep I was up early to prepare for a big SALE at Lulu & Tutz. Today and tomorrow we're having a 50% off SALE to prepare for our move next week. The timing is less than desirable, but it kept my mind occupied today, and I suppose will do the same tomorrow. Next week we pack the whole place up in boxes...to store until a plan has been made for the future of the shop. And the next week school starts for the other two. It's a busy few weeks, but I think it's all good.

And it really IS all good. Even the ache of the heart and the leaky tears. I have a new perspective today. I looked at my other two kids who are still in my house, and realized in 3 and 6 years I'll be doing this again...and those years are going to fly by just like Alex's did. I think I'll look at the time we have together differently...through new eyes. It is SO fleeting. So short...too short not to intentionally think about it. They need me NOW....but won't in just a few short years. Time is precious, a lessoned I think I really JUST learned.

More on those thoughts later, and how they pertain to what on earth I will do with the shop or whatever else I end up doing to generate some income into our household. Each lesson heaps on top of the last one...I feel I may need a fair share of quiet time in order to sort through how the combination of them all will affect my future decisions.

I'm in a very LONG waiting room, but it's not really a quiet room...there are voices everywhere trying to sway me to their side! It's just overload today to think about them...enough already, give a mom some peace! They'll still be there tomorrow and the next day when I can relax enough to listen in. (*DISCLAIMER read this* not ACTUAL voices in my head, ok? Just lots of advice- solicited and unsolicited...just wanted to be clear.)

Off to chill with the kids...till next time...


jodie said...

Wow, thanks for the cry. Alex's comment to Nick...priceless. Total indication of the incredible legacy you have built into your kids. Amazing. You have a lot to be proud of.

amy said...

I'm right there with you friend, just got back last night after a three day goodbye.
Let me know if you want to come up from your quiet time and go to Panera for coffee this week?

Just a little something from Judy said...

I was with you as I read each word you wrote. Your children are blessed to have you for their mother. Your mother's heart jumped out through each sentence revealing more than just taking your son to college. No advice from this friend...just care and prayers for what is next for you in this journey.

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