Tuesday, August 12, 2014

(almost) Empty Nest Syndrome anyone?

I'm sure this month has been or will be a difficult one for many moms and dads as we watch our babies pack up all their belongings as well as their most prized possessions and head off to life on a college campus. I know I, for one, have dreaded it more than I could put into words. Sometimes I fear that I'm too much of the overprotective clingy mom...and yet I don't know how to not be that mom. From the time my oldest son was born I vowed that nobody would love and protect their children more than I would. I wanted to be *the* mom...you know, the one who was always volunteering, the one who was the most supportive and the one who was always cheering the loudest. I'm not ashamed to say that for the most part I have been that mom. I've served a lot of hours working in concession stands, going on field trips and working at school carnivals. I've sat for countless hours at baseball games, basketball games, football games and even a few track meets. My husband and I continue to strive each day to unconditionally love and support each one of our children.
So, while I do still(thankfully!!) have one child left at home, yesterday was still a very difficult day for this clingy over protective mom.
It was the day my "baby boy" moved into his college dorm to begin a new chapter in his life. He is now living his lifelong dream of being a college athlete.
I can only imagine how scared, nervous but most of all, EXCITED he is! And, make no mistake, I am excited for him. And so very proud of him as well!

But, I'm also dealing with some major emptiness in my life that is accompanying the excitement and pride. It's now just my husband, our youngest son and me and there is a definite emptiness in our home. Not only is Garrett not here, but  his friends aren't here either. He's not just down at the courts playing basketball or out running. He's not at his girlfriend's house. He didn't run to town for this or that. He really won't be home again for awhile.
There is a quietness that is out of the ordinary for our home. His absence is almost palpable. His room sits empty just as he left it 2 days ago. His personal items are absent from the bathroom. His car is not in the driveway. Nobody is sitting on my bed beside me saying "mom, you have to watch this" or "you have to hear this" as he shows me his favorite new song on youtube. There's nobody doing laundry at midnight because he needs a shirt for school the next morning.
 I could keep going but I won't...I can barely see through my tears to type at this point. Garrett is special...he annoys me more than I could convey at times, but he also evokes a love in my heart that is beyond expression. His personality is bigger than life and I guess I miss not only his presence but also his very essence.

But, like the millions of moms before me and millions who will come after me, I will get through each day and cherish the fact that his dad and I have raised an amazing young man who is on his journey to make his mark on this big old world. I know we have guided him to the best of our ability and he's as ready as he'll ever be to face his future. Go get 'em son...and know that we are here for you always, no matter what! Love you big as the sky, Garebear!

This will be his home for the next 9 months or so
And THIS picture brings tears to my eyes every single time I look at it. I took this after we said our goodbyes in the parking lot and he headed back upstairs to his room. He stopped at the window to give me one last wave. Right as he turned around and walked away from the window he also gave me the "I love you" sign. Gosh, I love that kid...he's got me wrapped and he knows it lol.