Monday, April 03, 2006


Saying goodbye....

I have been thinking; with so much thought about saying goodbye to my oldest son, I merely have to look in my youngest son's room and I am reminded--I am in another goodbye of sorts. He is my third child, our charm! He is ten years younger than our 2nd child, and no, he was not an accident or the fruit of a 2nd wife's womb. He is a gift beyond words...to these aging parents!

While getting ready for the day, I passed his room to see all of his favorite clothes laid out on his bed. This morning the dialogue went something like this:

"M-O-M...where are all my clothes?"

"Son, I don't know what you did with them, I don't wear them!"

"M-O-M! I need them, I'll be late for school! I have n-o-t-h-i-n-g to wear!"

Part of that is true--he has shot up 5 inches just during this school year. He is taller than his mom!

"M-O-M! I can't find anything in the drier....where are my clothes!"

It was too obvious--they were on his bed, neatly folded, waiting for him to choose what he would wear. Where was he looking!?

But, how could I be frustrated with my 14 year old? How many times throughout my day do I long for a re-do of the14-year old days of my 2nd child? I love teenagers! I love their sense of humor (check out the pink T-shirt, "Don't laugh, this is your girlfriends shirt!). I love their sense of adventure (can you see the ripped knee of his favorite jeans--that's why they are his favorite!). I love how they experiment with being an adult--while still in the safety of their home.

Yes, my 14 year old is growing up too; he will be leaving soon. My house will be empty of the getting-ready-for-school-frenzy. Gone will be the noise of pre-pubescent boys as they plan their future around becoming NBA players. Missing will be the dirty white (grey) socks peaking out from under his bed. And empty will be my heart!

So, I am not frustrated. My boys are on a journey of good-bye. I will treat today accordingly. Maybe if I live more closely to this truth, I will cherish all of the events of the day. It is not so easy to be frustrated if I simply remember....each day is a goodbye. Saying hello to this realization equips all mothers to release their young men (and women) to their own lives. This is just another sacrificial gift we give to our children; that and clean clothes (and a few thousand unsaid others) is a good start for their journey!

32 comments:

heartsjoy said...

Oh my goodness, you made me cry! I am so sentimental about my kids and I know it is a process of goodbye and I have to tell myself that so I won't be a complete basket case when we finally reach that time. Thank you for sharing your heart...it reminds me to take advantage of each moment! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog.

Gina said...

You made me cry also and my oldest is 12! What a great reminder to those of us with little ones. Thanks for sharing your mother's heart.

Heather Smith said...
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Heather Smith said...
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Heather Smith said...
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Heather Smith said...

It sounds to me like you've prepared them well for these goodbyes. From what I've read of your blog, I can see you've done your best to "Train them up in the way they should go" If they have the truth in them, they won't be able to escape it. They'll always have it ringing in their ears, even if they try to shut it out!

Sue said...

Thanks for visiting me. I can speak from experience that the time does fly by quickly! Seems like just yesterday mine were teenagers and now one of them is the parent of a teenager!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I know it breaks my hear that everyday I am getting closer to sending my little boy out itno the world. Everyday he grows more independant. And although this is what our head wants our hearts still love to snuggle our babies!

Diane - I wanted to send you an email answering the questions you asked me. It is too long to post in a comment.

Coule you send me your email - mine is janicecroze at telus dot net
Just delete that after you get it ok?

thanks
janice
www.5minutesformom.com

jessica said...

My girls are 8 and 5 and I watch them with such amazement. Your post brought tears to my eyes because I know that one day soon we will be there too.

Rebecca said...

I will probably be in denial about good-bye, right up until the girls take off for college. They're such babies. :(

SJ said...

My boys are only 8 and 5,and I can't bare the thought of them growing up and leaving. My heart wants to stop at the very thought.

Magnolia said...

What a beautiful post, Diane. My oldest will be 16 in a month-she laughed out loud at the saying on the pink T-shirt. My youngest, my surprise (to me, not to God LOL) just turned 6. Add two more teenagers and each day is a series of 'letting go's'.

You have a way with words. Did you ever consider submitting something to one of those Cup of Comfort books?

March St. Ives said...

My youngest daughter phoned me yesterday to express her shock and surprise at a comment a stranger left with her at Wal-Mart. Her tot was in the midst of throwing one of his first rate tantrums. Right in the middle of a parking lot he sat screaming as my daughter attempted to cart a sack of "stuff" a two-year-old and a one month old to her van. As the woman insisted on helping her she imparted this piece of advice: "Someday you'll look back with longing and treasure this very moment in time."

Dionna Sanchez said...

Poignant article. I love how you said "Each day is goodbye." Too true.

Hikingalong said...

Thank you for this blog. I'm facing the empty nest syndrome this fall when my youngest goes off to college. As a mother of 4 children, losing the last one and realizing that I'll be letting go one more time is really hard. I'm not sure how to face this season in my life. God bless you!

cmhl said...

that was so beautiful!!!!! so bittersweet..

Nancy said...

I feel for you.

But you know, it's never really goodbye -- they will always have your love and your presence, because they will always have the solid foundation that you built for them in your family. So you will always be with them, wherever they go.

J's Mommy said...

I have a way to go before my daughter is ready to fly the coop, but I hope I can look at it the same way! Thanks for coming to see me today!

J's Mommy said...

I have a way to go before my daughter is ready to fly the coop, but I hope I can look at it the same way! Thanks for coming to see me today!

Morning Glory said...

We've had an empty nest for some time now and when it comes, you will enjoy it. Our 2 daughters were delightful and family life was fun. When our youngest one moved out to go live in the dorm at college, the thing that struck us the most was how quiet it was. It took about a month to get used to it. Then when she came home for Christmas break, it was sort of like: "You'll be on break for how long?" It's amazing how you adapt and enjoy the company of each other when you're a couple again. You'll find the humor and joy in these next few years, I'm sure. And then you'll treasure being a twosome again. The children always know where to turn for the most love and hugs and they'll be back to get some.

~Jennifer said...

ah teenaged boys. :) I have a 15 year old, and can relate.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Heather said...

I stumbled onto your blog from someone else's :) I was a "prodigal" daughter who when I got older (I am 31, but returned when I was about 23) I did not depart from my teaching. No matter how far the fall or crash..to the Lord it is but a prayer away to make up the distance. I will be praying!! I enjoyed reading your blog.

Elizabeth said...

Just stumbled here also...and how glad I am! I too have a prodigal. My daughter left our home almost 10 years ago now...and was on her way before that time to being the prodigal. Middle child problems I guess in part...but many other reasons for it too. We hope and pray while we still have life, that someway, the Messiah will become so real to them and like the poem "The Hound of Heaven" will pursue them in the ways we certainly can barely imagine. I will return here often to read!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

To all who have visiting Praying for a Prodigal:

You bless me! Thank you for your words of wisdom, your words of encouragement and support, your prayers! I treasure them.

For those who have been prodigals--thank you for commenting! You bring me hope! There is a celebration, full of tears and dancing, with each word of your return I read. For those of you who have prodigals of your own--I will pray with you for their quick return home. What a celebration we will have!!!!!

You are all welcome back--keep coming as we journey through this path--hand in hand with each other and held tightly and securely by our Heavenly Father.

Diane

Lei said...

Thanskf ro the visit... and the reminder to cherish every single moment!

Perri said...

I'm praying for you today. I know it's not going to be an easy day for you.

lazymama said...

You just made my heart ache. Mine are only 4 and 5 and i already feel anxious about the days they will be leaving me. Keep strong! Enjoy every moment.

kpjara said...

Thanks for YOUR words of encouragement and for sharing this bittersweet time with your son. I can't imagine ever releasing a child into the world, how brave parents are!

GiBee said...

Well ... it's Tuesday. Tomorrow is the "big day" and today, I'm certain will be full of emotion. I will be praying for you as you say good bye to your son.

Your post was simply beautiful and raw. Thanks for your honesty!

Seeker said...

I just came across your blog and am bookmarking it, to return and read from the beginning... when I get time. Am looking forward to "getting to know you".

Mary-LUE said...

Diane, it is funny. I checked out your post for the first time today... Saw a comment at Actual Unretouched Photo and the name intrigued me. I didn't comment then, but after catching your comment at Tales From the Edge, I had to come back! I have definitely had to lay aside my plans for the day (several days) this last week. My daughter was round 2, my son had it a few days before. My son will be 14 in May and my heart spasms every once in awhile when I think of him out in world. I appreciate so much your love, perspective and diligence in prayer for your children. It is an example to me. I can get so exasperated at times. Thanks for checking out the blog. I'll be back! Mary

great2beme said...

Okay so first I must say I am crying I am trainging the kids so they can leave home but praying they will never go farther then one neighborhood away. :) I can't help it I don't know how I can be in two places and I don't know if they will end up close enough for me to live by both and then what??? But you helped lift the heavy burden because the grey socks is SOOO real. I thought it was my husband doing the laundry but it wasn't it is a BOY's socks. I had a girl first this is all new to me. The secret it that girls lose theirs before they turn grey but I am pretending they just wouldn't anyway. I also loved how you described what his clothes meant it takes the words right out of my mouth.