Youngest is away this weekend.
On a church retreat.
I put him on a bus on friday night -
he was eager to go and I was eager for him to stay behind.
There is something different about letting each of them go.
I always worried about the way that the world would see Oldest and how he would react to the world.
Middle is sensitive and thoughtful and needed a different kind of protection.
And Youngest is those things too and yet needs another kind of parenting.
I waited until the last possible moment to tell the church that he would be attending.
I stayed until the bus was far from the parking lot.
He gave me a hug and never looked back.
His brothers have taken the same trip each fall.
He was the hardest to let go.



Anonymous said…
As my kids grow older, I find it harder to see them go, rather than easier. I no longer worry about whether they'll cry by themselves in the middle of the night, or what they'll do if they forgot their toothbrush. But I worry that each trip takes them farther from me in their mind and that someday, they'll be comfortable enough to not return.

It's what we want and what we fear.
Anonymous said…
Mine is home for the weekend, having wrangled rides once again to come and see his girlfriend over the Canadian thanksgiving weekend. There's always that pulling, sucking feeling in my solar plexus when he takes off again. I guess it never ends. I love that photo of youngest. Boy-shoulders are so poignant.
Badger said…
Ack! Chicks not in the nest = stressing me out. Does he come home today?
Anonymous said…
Every so often, while I lie in bed at night, it suddenly hits me--my kids will one day leave, and go off into the world on their own.
And, they will want to leave--to begin living their own lives.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that idea.

Your post was beautiful and sad...
MsCellania said…
One of my big fears in life: When my children leave home

My biggest fear in life: That they

Does this make sense?
Paula said…
I'm sorry to say that feeling? It never goes away...
Amy A. said…
Loretta nailed it on the head for me. Sigh.
tut-tut said…
What a beautiful photograph. I like the manner in which you posted; quite like a poem, which is what it is.
Anonymous said…
This subject is very much on my mind today.
Lynne@Oberon said…
My girls are too young to spend time away from me but already my four year old rolls her eyes when she's playing with friends and I wander over to see if everything is ok. I can see the teenager in her!!!

I remember when she was just a little baby the shock of realising the she was playing happily on her own, away from me ... after having her glued to my breast for the first 12 months it was a real eyeopener to realise she wasn't just an extension of my body.
--erica said…
hugs to you!
celestial opus said…
How does the grinch statement go? His (her) small heart grew three sizes that day? Makes my heart swell that you are so in tune with your men and not only see, but do parent each as appropriate. :)