We have hit another milestone. Our middle child leaves the nest- really leaves the nest, tomorrow at 2:30 pm. She lived an hour away during college, and two hours away post- college, but now she will be 26 hours away. She leaves for El Dorado, Arkansas to teach 5th Grade Language Arts, alone. She is much braver than I. This move is fulfilling a dream of hers. She has always wanted to try southern living. She is fascinated with southern food, homes, entertainment, climate, and culture. At 26, there is no better time than the present and she wants to give it a go. I’m proud of her, but I will miss her more than I can talk about.
Our son warmed us up. He moved to Florida at 18 and met his future wife. After a brief stay with us, he joined the Navy and the family moved across country to Washington State. I could hardly breathe as the moving truck pulled out of the driveway. I just love having my babies nearby. From there, he was stationed in Florida and is currently serving a year deployment in Bahrain. In December, he, his wife, and two children will head to Japan for 3 years.
I’m proud of my two older children. They are much more courageous than I am. But I’m not going to lie, I will miss them so very much. I suppose it would be much easier if I didn’t like them at all, but they are pretty great kids with humungous hearts, a desire to succeed, and a true appreciation of God’s creations. They want to explore. They want to see the world. They want to experience all they can, while they can.
Our youngest was married in May and lives just 2 miles down the road. This is our saving grace. She and her family will help to fill the emptiness the other two leave. That is a blessing. I don’t know if I could handle all 3 of them gone just yet. I know it’s unhealthy, but I’d give anything to have them all living together on our 7-acre property like a commune. I just love having them all around me. That is when I am the happiest. When they are all around me and getting along, there is nothing better.
This has initiated a thorough cleaning of the house. We have taken 7 trips to Goodwill, and it really doesn’t show. We just look neater. Anything of any sentimental value has gone into totes that are housed on the shelves of the garage. The totes are labeled and the kid’s most precious memories are safely placed until they are in permanent homes. Then the totes will be theirs. It has been an emotional process- much more than I expected. However, it has felt good to organize and clean our living space.
There have been tears. There will be more tears. This transition- the final transition of the children moving completely out, spreading their wings to far away places, and decision-making about what goes, what stays, what is most precious, and what is not, has been necessary. It’s part of letting them go, part of making the house ours, and part of preparing for the future. I have appreciated the help from my favorite man, and we have enjoyed reminiscing as we carefully make final decisions.
Today, we thank God for our babies…our friends. May God place a protective covering over all three of them and their families as they find their way, and may they always remember that their Mom and Dad love them more than life- forever and always.