A morning at home …

Today will be the last morning George wakes up in our home for at least the next few months. That is just weird. Aside from sleepovers and camps, for the past 18 years he has been here in the morning.

George is an early riser. He always has been. Even as a baby. He's quiet for about 30 minutes after waking up. When he comes to the kitchen he is "officially" wake enough to eat and say good morning. He drinks coffee now and has a routine that is so … um … adult-like. I saw changes in him coming over the past few years. Really it was more like "sneaking" into our lives like a thief in the night and changing my little boy, who loved cereal and cartoons, into a young man.

I know that George will be back again, and in the scope of things, relatively soon. But it will all be different then. He will have changed even more. College and moving away just does that to you. As it should. I wonder what our new mornings will look like when he returns? I'm sure he will be even more mature. More worldly. More wise. But no matter how much life changes him, or how much he ages, he will always wake up and be my little boy.

Well, I hope you all start the day with someone you love!!!

Feeling very special …

My kids are honestly incredible people. Yesterday was another busy day for us. With two kids moving out this week and trying to coordinate travel plans and accommodations for everyone it's been NUTS. Every time I felt like I could set a sold plan in place someone had a problem or something didn't work. Ugh. Then I had all the finalizing of paperwork. When you have four kids, trust me, there will always be one more form to complete and an email to write. ALWAYS. Especially right before school starts. Again, ugh. I got a lot done yesterday and I was a little frazzled, to say the least. But last night, these kids of mine, made my entire day better. Heck, they made it great!

I was about to make dinner when they told me that they wanted me to stop and go get ready because George was going to take me out to dinner and a movie. They had planned it all out together. Libs and Sid were going to watch Reese and I was going to have a nice night out with my son before he leaves for college. WOW! I was honestly so taken back I could hardly speak. It was one of those silent shocked moments. Never did I expect them to do something like that for me. In the midst of all our craziness, life changes and moving boxes, my kids made sure that they thought of me. I know they see how much I struggle sometimes. My burdens. My pain. And they definitely know how emotional I've been lately. But as a mom, I never think about those things. I just do what has to be done (and probably go a little overboard) to make sure their lives go smoothly and that their needs are taken care of. It's just a natural mom function. Like blinking, but with your heart. Last night my kids took care of me and gave me a night to relax and enjoy myself. It was so kind. And I can't think of a moment that it was more needed. And appreciated. I know I say it a lot, but I really do have the greatest kids in the world.

Well, I hope you all have a day where the people you love most make you feel very special!!!

Ahead of the game …

I have been known to drive my crew to school wearing my pajamas. Heck, I even have fun joking around about having to get out of the car in them. HA! Usually my first "pajama sighting" is at least a few weeks into school. Around that 6 week mark, life gets hard and … well … I start wishing for summer again. Or at least a long weekend. Anyway, today was Libs first day of Hell Week at tennis. I didn't sleep well last night. I have WAY too much on my mind and I had an iced coffee WAY too late in the day. So when my alarm went off this morning it was ugly. I dragged my lifeless body out of bed and made sure Libs was up. Then I proceeded to pee (come on, we all do it), brush my teeth and then I curled up on the couch throwing out verbal "help" to keep Libs on time. When it came time to leave, I rolled off the couch, took a quick glance at my hair in the mirror (yikes), grabbed my keys and got out the door. There is NO LATE during Hell Week and if you aren't 15 minutes early you ARE late. So needless to say Libs was early. REALLY early. She was the first one to arrive and that has to make her look good in the coachs' eyes. Right?!?! So between Libs punctuality and me getting an early start on my jammie wearing school drop-offs I'd say that we are both off to a great start. I think.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ahead of the game!!!

I can’t imagine what it will be like …

Next Sunday I will wake up to two sleeping children. Not four. Sid will be in her new house and George will be settled into his dorm. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. I'm trying very hard to picture what this new chapter will look like. What it will sound like. And what it will feel like. But I just can't. I'm not sure if it's my heart or my head that can't fully grasp it all. But I can understand why I can't. It's just too big. It's all so emotionally charged. And it's unfamiliar. A life not yet experienced. A life unknown. I'm literally at a loss at what to expect. So, I guess I'll have to wait to see what it's like when I wake up next Sunday morning. BIG sigh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can't imagine what it will be like!!!

I’m going to miss this (boxes and bags included) …

Our house is a disaster. Moving Sid and George out of the house on the same day is just NUTS. But it is the only way it all makes sense logistically and with the time frames we have been given. So, we have two people who are cleaning out their rooms and closets. They are also, at the same time, boxing up things that they will take with them, things they will leave here and things they will donate. Then you have me who keeps buying things to make sure they have exactly what they need to actually move out. We also Libs who is getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school and a busy tennis season. And we have an excited Reese who is eager to "help" with everything. Oh! And let's not forget the online orders that are starting to arrive. You know, the stuff I thought should be ordered for school for the younger girls to save time as summer draws to an end. Yep, this house is an explosion of boxes and bags. And you know what?

I love it.

I look around and I see FAMILY and LIFE and LOVE. I see ADVENTURE and NEW BEGINNINGS. It's what's happening NOW to and for my most favorite people in the world. It is a snapshot in our lives. A time that will pass quickly but will have lasting memories. This is US. And our US is on the verge of another major change. It excites my soul and breaks my heart all at once. I want to keep my children little and safe and with me. But I also want them to grow and experience life and learn every lesson they can even if that takes them away from me.

I will always look back at this time in our lives as truly special. An unexpected gift from God. When Sid moved out I wasn't sure if we would ever get this much time together again. I accepted that. But when I got sick last Fall it's all that I could think of. US. Together again. These past few months with everyone home has been exactly what I had hoped for … and needed. To see it all change again is hard. But I refuse to be greedy. I got my heart's desire. Now it's time for these amazing young souls, that I had the privilege to raise, to venture out into the world. I can't wait to see what is in store for them. For me. For us.

Thursday is coming quickly. The day all this change goes into motion. I'm ready. More importantly, THEY are ready. I am consumed with every mom emotion I have ever felt. I am blessed to feel so much and experience this unusual balance between loss and gain again. Life will take on a new shape for us. I know this and it's OK. Our time together will be altered by distance, schedules, and responsibilities. But we will figure it all out. Love just does. A new normal will soon set in and this transition will become another notch on our family belt. The hardness of this will all fade away. But for now, I will just cherish every last familiar messy moment we get spend together. Boxes and bags included.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you're going to miss this!!!

Letting go (and crying AGAIN) …

It's getting close. REAL close. George's college move-in date is just next week. Again, this whole process is absolutely exciting and also utterly heartbreaking. How I view HOME is going to, once again, change. It is a change that does not come easily or without pain. At least not for me.

I have always had a great relationship with George. Conversations come easy. We are close. He knows how much I love him and how much I want for him. I couldn't be prouder of the man he has become. He is ready to take on the world. He knows that I believe that he has what it takes to achieve all
of his goals and more. To put it simply, we have talked it all out.

But there is one conversion I had not had with George yet. At least not until yesterday. And boy, it was a DOOZY.

Yesterday Facebook memories reminded me that I had the same conversation with Sidney two years ago just before she left for college. It was to date, the most painful and difficult conversation I had ever had as a parent. But it had to be done … for her. I had planned on having the same conversation with George this week so I decided that yesterday was as good a day as any to have it. Yes, I decided that yesterday was going to be THAT day, and I gave myself permission not to like any of it.

So yesterday I had, for the second time in my life, the hardest most difficult conversation I have ever had with my child. I looked at George and I told him that no matter where life took him, wherever I was, he would always have a home with me. That he would be welcomed back, loved, and cared for. And then I took a big breath, held back my tears (not very well) and told him that it was also OK if he chose to just make his return home a pit stop. Temporary. Short. Brief. I told him that if his life and his dreams lead him on long or frequent travels to far away places, that I would understand. I told him to enjoy every second of his journeys. To truly LIVE and LEARN. To explore the world and find where he fits. And most importantly, I told him to take chances because great things didn't happen to people who always played it "safe". And then I explained to him why, despite all the heartache, I felt this way. I told him that my love for him has allowed me to find great joy in knowing that he is chasing his dreams and becoming the man he has envisioned … even if all of it takes him away from me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you let go!!!

It stung a little …

Today we officially began packing George up for college. It was a fun day but there was a certain pang of pain that didn't go unnoticed.

Well, I hope you all had a day that didn't sting a little!!!