So, I didn’t cry when it was time to say goodbye.
I hugged my son in front of his dorm, told him I was proud of him and that I loved him, and took one last photo of him and his sister.
I remained dry-eyed during the 14 hour drive back home. I was feeling pretty good.
Then I walked into the house, saw Josh’s room…and sobbed for a solid hour before falling into an exhausted sleep.
I cried on and off for the next couple of days.
I’m not sure I like our new normal. I miss my boy.
Yet I am so happy for him. We had a lovely last few days together exploring his new home away from home.
The days since we have been home have been so odd. The house has seemed strangely empty to me, despite the fact that my husband, my daughter, my mom and me all live here. And I am so grateful for the presence of each one of them.
However, I have come to discover that you don’t realize the depth and richness that a loved one provides to your daily life until they are gone. I was living daily with a combination of sweet, happy memories and some regrets of things I did or didn’t do while Josh lived with us. I wondered what kind of decisions he is going to make now that he is on his own. I am filled with more determination than ever to encourage young moms to enjoy that season of life because as the saying goes, “The days are long but the years are short.”
One morning, I found myself scanning Facebook and commented to a sweet friend who was struggling with the fact that her little boy was about to go to kindergarten. I told her that I was right there with her, just a little further down the road. In turn, she reminded me of something that Linda Anderson, the founder of the Mom To Mom program told us, “You are not releasing your child into a void. You are releasing them into the hands of God.”
That was just the reminder that I needed to silence the fears, the regrets, the “what-if’s?”.
It’s a new season. Granted, it is not one that I think anyone ever feels completely ready for, but I am in it and I intend to fully realize the blessings that it offers.
I have more photography jobs booked. I am looking forward to enjoying every minute of my daughter’s senior year of high school. I will be leading 2 Bible studies and continuing to serve as a mentor to the young moms at our church.
My son’s story is really just beginning, and a new chapter is being written in mine.
Bring it on. 🙂