September 03, 2014

When your child leaves home...

I know now that there are different kinds of leaving home.  Our oldest moved out for six months last year and we did not see him for a week at a time but he was still in town.  He would come by for dinner every once in awhile.  He might show up to hang out with his siblings and then go about his week with music gigs and hanging with friends and such.  It never felt like things were changing forever.  When he decided to join the Marines he moved back home until he was ready to leave again to save money and get things in order.  It was good having him here for that time.

When a child goes away to college they are still in school mode.  They go away for a few months at a time and then show up on holidays and many come home for the summer.  Many of our oldest's friends have done this and we see them frequently even though they are away for months at a time.

When a child joins the military... especially the Marine Corps... it is more traumatic for both the recruit and the family.  Boot camp is dang hard.  It has to be.  In the Marine Corps the men and women are trained to fight first and then they head into their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) In our oldest's case it is a big career move.  He is a jazz pianist who will belong to the USMC for at least four years.  He went from here straight into the pros like a football player who skips college to go straight to the professional league.  He will be educated as he moves through this process but for the most part he has moved out to be on his own permanently.  His time is not his own anymore and we might see him holidays and we might not.  He might live halfway around the world and we will learn to use Skype just so we can see him from time to time.

So, how does this affect the mom?  Well, I think about him almost all day even though I am still doing the laundry and dishes and the cooking and cleaning.  I am still plugged into the other children and have stuff that has to get done but I am moving a little slower and feeling a little more distracted. I check into our support group online several times a day... they know exactly how I feel because they are feeling it, too.  I have been taking a morning walk every day and spending that time praying for my children.  I have committed to walk every day that he is in boot camp.  We are still homeschooling the youngest so we are working through his daily routine.  I am shuffling the high schoolers to all their band stuff and school stuff.  We share dinner together every night.  We work through homework and practice and lessons.  It all continues to move forward with one difference.... part of my heart is now living in San Diego.  I miss him but I am not broken... I am so excited for his new life and who he is becoming.  When I see him again he will be very different... grown up... more mature... with a new purpose and a new focus.

It is how things are meant to be... they will leave and then you will think of 1,000 things you wish you had said and wonder if he will remember all you taught him.  You move through the house and everything reminds you of him.  You sit on his bed randomly just staring out the window. You stare at a silent piano missing him playing as you cook dinner.  You hope that he will turn to God when he is feeling alone and you have to trust God to fully watch over your child because you are not there anymore...

that is a good thing...

God is fully capable of caring for our children.

They are not really our children after all is said and done.

They are His.... and are made for His glory.

My job is to let the children I gave birth to be His.

So, now.... I let go... and I trust God... and I pray... and love him from a distance... and send letters that remind him of that.

Letting go is the hardest thing I have ever done...


  1. Thank you for beautifully sharing your heart!

  2. Anonymous11:13 PM

    That was beautiful. I wonder if my mom thought about me a lot when I moved out from under her to be on my own . That is over 40 yrs ago

    1. Thanks, Jan... I am sure she did. :)

  3. I hear you on this one. My oldest is 19, when he first left home I missed him so much but each time he visited I got more use to it. It's nice when he comes home to see me though.

    1. It just gives us new things to look forward to. :)