This boy of mine left for college last week, which is what kids do who have graduated from high school, reach the ripe age of 18 years old and are staring the rest of their lives square in the face. He is going to Weber State University (just an hour or so away) and is hoping to receive his mission call by the end of the year.
Time is flying by so quickly I can hardly believe it. How is it that the older I get the faster it seems to be moving. The day Mark left for college I was little bit at loose ends. A tad unsettled. Emotional, if you will. I told myself I would be able to make it through the day without breaking down into tears. He was ready to go. Eager to take this new step towards an adult type life. The funny thing about 18 year olds is…they want to be in charge of themselves. Go figure, right. Their dearest wish is to be treated as an adult. They get fed up with parents reminding them to clean their room or pick up the dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, or to take out the garbage. He’s always been a really obedient kid, but household chores and looming parental advice and demands were starting to wear on him. The kid was ready to spread his wings, fly a little. Be in charge of his own life and his own laundry, for goodness sake. For these important reasons I was sure I could breeze through the moment of his departure with a tight hug, a pat on the back and a “Good luck, honey! Knock them dead! I’m so proud of you! Have fun with that laundry!”
But when the time came for him to leave he and I and MyHandsomeHusband stood around staring at each other with big fat tears rolling down our cheeks. It’s hard to close the door on a person’s childhood. Especially when you have cared for, nurtured, worked with, played with and loved that person for an 18 year stretch. I am so super proud of him and excited for all of the amazing things that in his future. But I can’t help but feel a loss, which I suppose is completely normal. I went to bed that night with puffy circles under my bloodshot eyes. So much for holding it together!
The next day when I woke up, I had a better handle on things, I promise. Nary a tear was shed on day two. 🙂 Mark is doing well at school. We are doing well at home, our new routine is falling into place, thank goodness.
I have been thinking a lot about the scripture that says “…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” and how that pretty much sums up a mothers life, right? There are always so many little things to do when caring for a family. Many of you who are reading this are in the throes of raising a family and know first hand the truthfulness of that statement!
I love this quote from Julie B. Beck (a wonderful church leader) that states how wise mothers build “…faith and character in the next generation one family prayer at a time, one scripture study session, one book read aloud, one song, one family meal after another. She is involved in a great work… She knows that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man.”
I love those words. They have given me a lot of strength on those days when the demands of motherhood have weighed heavily on my shoulders. I’ve thought about them a lot this past week, I suppose as a means of reflection and realization. It was hard for me to imagine 18 years ago when I was rocking Mark’s newborn self to sleep at night that he would grow up and become an adult. But little by little, it happened. I feel amazingly blessed to be his mama and am excited to see what this new chapter holds for him and us.
…also, I can’t help but be tremendously happy there are still four children living under this roof that require my immediate and daily attention.