Sunday, September 02, 2007

Still a Mom

This just in--I am still a mom.

As you know, the last few days have been really, really difficult for me as both of my older kids are now on campus. My son did not respond to his new life as well as I'd hoped on the beginning, which made it 10 times harder for me. For instance, before we left him, obviously dejected, he asked us, "If Katie comes home for the weekends, is it OK if I come, too?" The reason he asked is that we all know it's better for kids to stay on campus a few weeks in order to get really acclimated to their new lives. This question was followed by silence broken by a big gulp over the knot in my throat. I wanted to say, "Yes!" But I deferred to his dad, who is stronger and said, "I think it would be a good idea for you to stay here and get to know everyone better," etc. Jordan just dropped his head and nodded. I wanted to sob. It felt as if we were saying coldly, "Don't come home."

Moms, you cannot know what this is like until you go through it.


He appears to be doing better, now, thank God with all my heart. I know he can do this, and I am so proud of him.

FYI: His first message from school informed us that his books cost $500.00. (Another gulp.)

So I've been losing sleep, crying a little, praying a lot, eating even more, missing my kids' voices and feeling a little displaced. This house is a lot emptier.

However, it has occurred to me that within the last 48 hours, the following incidents have occurred right under my nose:

My fourteen year-old daughter has

1. Caught a bad cold from her first week of high school, leaving her pitiful and way less sassy than normal. She is open to being comforted by her female parental unit.

2. Asked me to help her create a baking sensation called "Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza." Result: Weight gain, but also some precious mother-daughter bonding.

3. Has willingly sat with her dad and me to watch "Murder, She Wrote" and "Perry Mason" reruns. More accurately, she instigated this event. Bizarre.

4. Allowed me to explain the themes of "Gone with the Wind," plus other GWTW details, such as how "Ashley," as in Ashley Wilkes, used to be a boy's name. Again, bizarre.

5. Actually climbed onto my lap and let me hug her for about five minutes in the La-Z-Boy. Miracle. That felt really, really good to this mom's heart.

So I'm still a mom, after all. I'm just a mom with less laundry now, right?!


Kelli said...

Oh how I remember those first few weeks away from college. My dad worked about 30 minutes away and came to take me to lunch as often as he could. But oh- was I homesick, and had no car.

I'm so glad about how things are going with the other young one. Maybe with being home alone, things will mellow for her. I sense she's adjusting, too. So, you two just be needy together :)

Southern Girl said...

At the end of my first week in college, I called home practically in tears wanting to come home for the weekend. My father said almost exactly the same thing your hubby did. It wasn't an easy thing to hear, but it WAS the best thing for me. Even if your son doesn't get that now, and I bet he does, he understand someday.

I'm glad things are going better for him and I pray it'll continue. And yay for mom and kid bonding time! Hope that continues, too. :)

Susanne said...

Linda, praying for you and Jordan getting through this transition. It must be culture shock for him also, but it is nice that he has his sister on the same campus.

I second your gulp on the cost of books. My goodness.

I'll bet you're going to see all sorts of sides of your youngest come out now that she is the one at home. I'll bet you can look forward to all sorts of mother/daughter time together.

Roxanne said...

Our house felt incredibly empty when my big sister went away to school. . .then I left next and my brother was home without any sibling for the first time in his life. I have no idea what that felt like, but I know your youngest is feeling the absence of her sister AND her brother right now.

I'm glad she has chosen to be comforted by you, in turn, comforting you. It's a win/win.

I cannot imagine leaving a child who was not thrilled to be left, so that is breaking my heart for you. . .is his sister in the same school? If so, I know she is watching out for him from afar. :)

Shelly said...

Oh that makes my heart hurt!

Mainly b/c I'm feeling a little bit like your son as a new seminary student 1000's of miles from home in Boston, MA.


Merci said...

Once a mom, ALWAYS a mom. And my mom tells me that with an almost:::cough40:::year old daughter, it still doesn't get any easier to be the mom when your kids are hurting. Hang in there. Every mom is pulling for you.

Jen said...

youll always be their mum :)

must be nice to have less laundry

at least you can see your kids from time to time as you may or may not know my oldest and I are estranged
and although I miss her and think about her Im not going to have anything to do with her I dont and cant trust her anymore she caused us a lot of serious trouble last year

but I look at what I do have 2 young lovely lads and a partner whom loves me

Melanie said...

You will always be a mom, no matter where they are. This is just a new season.

Thank you for sharing straight from your heart!

Cindy Swanson said...

My nest gets a little emptier as my middle child leaves for a job in TX tomorrow. I've sent him off to college before, and this feels a lot like that. So anyway, my 20 year old daughter is the only one still here. I'm treasuring every minute with her!

samurai said...

Although I may not fully feel what you are going through... I have the anxiety if the anticipation of what you are going through... if that makes any sense. :)

Praying for you during this time.

isn't it awesome how God helps eaase these times of transition?


Annie said...

Hang in there, you both will make it through. I had the worse case of homesickness and my parents made me stick it out. It's so hard because you think you are the only one that misses your family and friends, everyone is trying to look tough when really everyone is in the same boat. Good luck to you guys!

Sharon said...

Oh, my heart aches for you. I am heading that direction any day now. I do believe that we will always be moms and always will be needed in some way, but why does it have to hurt so bad? It is neat that you are having precious moments with your daughter though! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Linda, love your blog. We have a lot in common. My son a sophomore in college just left for school. My daughter almost 14 is left as "only" child again. It seems very quiet around here. You are right you can't know what it feels like until you experience it. I knew I would really miss my son. I didn't know how much it would affect my daughter. Karen