Wednesday, September 10, 2014


We've said another goodbye.  Ben has been gone for 4 weeks.  The anticipation of the event was actually more emotional for me than the event itself.  I'm not ready to be the mother of two college aged children, but I don't get a choice in the matter.  Sigh. 

  Don't misunderstand me.  I'm very happy for him.  He is having a great time at college playing video games, bonding with his roommates, going to class.  He is experiencing the exhilaration of freedom for the first time.  Hopefully there's some responsibility in there too.  I would never want to smother him or deny him this experience.  There's no place I'd rather he be.  It's just that this mommy heart is feeling a little empty--a little lonely.  

It's funny.  Ben was not the easiest baby I had.  He cried more than his brothers and demanded--well, we still haven't figured out what he really wanted all those nights.  There were times when I would have packed his bags for him and delivered him happily to a dorm.  


  Maturity happened.  He grew into who he was made to be.  He is a pleasure to be around now.  He's witty, clever, caring.  When I struggled with my back this summer, he would put his hand on my shoulder and ask how I was or give me a hug in the hall as we passed.  He chauffeured me around for groceries and college items.  Oh how I miss him some days!  And I miss his friends. 

 Several couples a little further along in this process have assured me that the relationship that develops with your adult children can be a joy.  I don't know that that really makes up for the loss of the day to day--but I'm willing to hope.   Right now I'm looking forward to fall break when he and Fred will be home again.  Phone calls, texts, Skype, and Facebook make staying connected easier, but I don't want to hover.  And it's not the same. 

I really don't like this time of life.  Letting go is not natural nor does it come easily or without pain.  Ugh!  A friend who sent her last two off to college far away said it is like going in to work one day and having the boss say, "You've done a great job. You were successful in your career.  You're fired."  That's what it feels like, and I still have two at home.  Life looks different from this vantage point.  I find myself looking around and reminding my heart, "Everyone does this.  You'll survive."  And we will.  

There are bright spots.  The grocery bill, the amount of dishes, and the laundry have all shrunk considerably.  Ben is moving on toward adulthood.  Mom doesn't know every assignment and every grade (for which we are both THANKFUL!)  God is good and when I'm sad, He understands.  He has been there.  He's said goodbye to His Son too.  And He is there with Ben.  He holds his right hand so I don't have to. 


Helene said...

Oh, Paula. This made me cry. I get it. All the years of doing everything for your kid and then, you are left wondering, what NEXT? When Scott's gone (he's pretty self-sufficient now), there's absolutely no one. Not even any parents. This transition is definitely the hardest. ��

Jennifer Reed said...

Paula- I could not put into words so eloquently as you the feelings this mother is going through in the same situation. Letting go, trying not to hover, worrying, praying, missing, wishing for those younger years… I had a major melt down last night. Your blog has helped! Love you!

Linda J. White said...

Nicely written, Paula. You tugged my heartstrings. All i can say is 1) I miss my kids. I will ALWAYS miss my kids. 2) It's one of those 'necessary losses'; 3) It gets a little easier with time; 4) God has a purpose and a plan for you in this stage of your life; 5) Grandkids are AWESOME!!
As Charlie Evans used to say, you "sugar 'em up and send 'em home!"
Love you, Paula. Fight for joy!!