A Feeling Worse Than Sending Your Child To School For The First Time Ever...

If you're a mother then you remember that morning that you sent your child to school for the first time.  Your stomach ached and you were filled with a sort of anxiety that only a mother can feel on that day.  It's not that you aren't excited for them, but you know that things are changing and can never go back to the way they once were.  To that magical world where you were the center of their lives and they awoke every day with your name on their lips.  However, at the end of the day you got to pick them up, see their smiling face and talk with them about their day's adventures.  You still had them with you, within your grasp, in your home, sleeping in a room just down the hallway.  I will no longer have that as of today...and it is not a good feeling.

I actually woke up a little before the alarm went off at 6 this morning.  This was the day that Caitlin would be leaving Louisiana, heading toward her new home in Cleveland, Ohio.  I listened as the water ran while Robby took his shower and the dogs stood beside my bed, waiting to be let outside.  I just laid there.  Perhaps, I though, if I didn't get up,  this day wouldn't begin and they wouldn't leave.  I knew that wasn't truly a possibility but you couldn't blame a girl for wishing, now could you?

Yesterday we had spent the day in Shreveport.  I had to get my stitches out from my oral surgery so we decided to make the most of the day.  Caitlin, Kevin, Ryan and Allison (Ryan's girlfriend) all went with me.  We ate lunch out and shopped and then decided to go back to the lake house in Natchitoches; this would be a good place for me to be when Caitlin left.  I don't know what it is about the lake but it is just a place where I can go to jump start my body, mind and soul; I hoped it would work this time as well.

The night before, we had gathered family around for a farewell dinner (siblings and grandparents) to say good-bye.  David and Codi were the only ones who were not able to make it in, but surprised us last night by making the trip in and joining us at the lake house.  Everything was complete now.  We took the doxies and headed down to our boat dock and went for a ride down Cane River Lake late in the evening, just as the sun was beginning to set.  After that, Justin met us in town and we all ate together as a family one last time again.  This was a bittersweet moment as I sat there and looked around the table at these children of mine, now all grown up.  It seemed as though within the blink of an eye this had suddenly happened.

We bring these children into the world and oh, how quickly they carve out a place within our hearts and lives.  Letting go is difficult, I won't lie about that.  When you send that child off to kindergarten, you know they will be coming back at the end of the day.  And when they get into junior high school and begin spreading their "social wings", you know they will still be sleeping in your house at night.  When your child becomes a high schooler, you begin to see the writing on the wall...you don't have much time left with them at home.  But still, they come back to your house at the end of most days.  And then suddenly high school is over and you find yourself standing in the middle of the drive way
waving good-bye to a college student as they excitedly begin a more independent chapter of their life.  You know they will be home eventually; they still need food, money and someone to wash their clothes!  You look forward to weekends and holidays.  But this...this is like no other feeling that I have had as a mother.  As I put my arms around my only daughter and hugged her, I tried not let the tears fall; I didn't want to be the one to start the day like that.  She held it together too.  But as I watched her pull out of my driveway, I saw her swipe away what I knew would not be the first of many tears for the day.  This time, she would not be returning at the end of the day or the week to sleep in the bedroom down the hallway.  My daughter was all grown up now and moving over 1,000 miles away from me...THIS was a feeling that was definitely worse than sending your child to school for the first time ever.


  1. Yep, I will just curl up in a ball for while if one of mine moves that far away! She looks so happy though. (and so much more grown up) I guess marriage does that right away. Lori (I'll have an M&M for you)

  2. I think I'll be needing some M&M's!