Saying “See Ya Later” Is Easier Said Than Done

    The best thing a parent can give their children is wings, right?  Easier said than done for this Mom of three.  In the past week, I have sent my Navy Sailor son out into the Pacific Ocean to get on his first ship, the USS Cape St. George and have also taken my daughter to college for the first time.  This is a time of momentous change for our family and although this is my children’s finest hour and a positive step forward in their lives, I am finding myself emotionally blind-sided.  I realize this is not a unique experience as parents everywhere are going through the same thing or have done this before, but as I watched them pack this past week, I have found myself quietly crying late at night where they couldn’t hear me.  I have pasted on my happy face and used my feelings of extraordinary love and loss to help them create a home away from home in a sea bag and a dorm room.  The past 19 years have been hands-on knowing where my kids are, who they are with, what they are doing, feeding them at our dinner table, paying for their activities, clothing, gas, cars, etc., etc. They have been beside me on the couch or sleeping in their beds, they have been safe, home, mine.  I am accepting the fact that they are now young adults with me on the periphery of their lives, making their own decisions and paving their way towards a bright future.  I am so proud of them but also sad that there are no more rumpled sheets, half-full Gatorade bottles, dirty laundry, homework, the list goes on.  The quiet is a bit overwhelming even though I still have a 13 year old at home. Our chocolate lab even seems a bit down in the dumps. I have caught him sniffing around their bedrooms looking for 2 of his favorite companions.  Relying on my faith this last week has helped immensely and knowing that if it weren’t for my amazing upbringing and unconditional love for my 3 greatest gifts, I would be lost.  So here’s to all of those parents out there saying “See ya later” to their babies…stay strong and be thankful for your amazing children.  Give them their wings and watch them soar!  They will be back and better than ever.

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