Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the last one


Just breathe.

Be in the moment.

Lower expectations.


This morning when I woke up and tossed my legs over the side of the bed the first thought I had was, “This is our last week together. As a family.”  My eyes were barely open and this is the first thought that came to mind.

I do this a lot lately. I talk to myself. I give myself little pep talks. I grab at Buddhist concepts that represent something comforting to me about accepting change. And simply being. And not trying to hang on to every little sentimental moment with clutching fingernails.

Because I’m really trying. I’m trying to grow into the kind of person that welcomes monstrous, clunky changes that involve reorganizing my entire world.  I’m trying to be a sturdy Yoda when inside I feel like a fluttering Anne Hall.

I’m trying to inhale without the shaky breath in my chest and the wetness in my eyes whenever it hits me that in only a matter of days my youngest child will no longer live under our roof. And life will be forever different. Period.

Because that’s the truth and I can’t sugar-coat it. In a week Michael will live 422 miles away from me. And that fact makes this mother’s heart of mine ache.

Yes, of course I’m overflowing with excitement for him. I’m thrilled for him, he needs to go. But at the same time I’m gathering my emotional soldiers in place and preparing for the final realities. The first morning when I walk by his empty bedroom and see a neatly made bed. The-end-of-the-night when there is no more whisper of “Night Mom,” with a kiss planted on my head. No more loud door slams accompanied by  “Mooooom I’m starving… what’s to eat…?” bellowing through the house.


This is change. This is life. And you know what? It’s hard.

So this is the way I pace myself; this is the way I get ready for the hugs and the good-byes and the approaching sound of quietness that will be the new guest in our home because both boys will now be gone. I allow these millions of random thoughts to drift through my mind while I shop for towels and kitchen supplies and smile and plan and busily work on transforming the thrift store table into a college desk.

I acknowledge the truth to myself. I realize that this time around the college-drop off feels very, very different.


Because this is my last one. This is my baby.




p.s  anyone else getting ready for the college drop-off?





AntiqueChase said...

I have one week left. I'm crying just reading this. This is my first and I don't know how I'm gonna get thru it.

Leslie Harris said...

I know how you feel Marcy. I think it helps to deal with the little pangs of loss as you go along so you're not floored when it comes time to drive away. Ill be thinking of you!

Calypso In The Country said...

Leslie, you had me crying and my boys are just 9 and 7. I know in the blink of an eye, I will be in your situation because the time really does go too fast! Stay strong!

Cathi said...

That was me last year at this time! But you know what? We all survived it - it was very lonely for a month or so but then I got pretty darn used to it and I liked it! My daughter Steff changed alot this year and it was exciting to witness as you will soon see! They'll always be our babies though! Enjoy each moment! xxoo

michele said...

i am.

thursday morning.

our youngest.

he's never been away from us more than a couple days.

he's not the organized type.

i'll miss his older brother just as much because when they show up in the room, so does my smile.

grieving with you.


Anonymous said...

As you know, I'm right there with you. It's my middle son who is off to college next week, but it is still hard. I literally feel like I was meeting him in his elementary school cafeteria to have lunch with him a couple of months ago! My BABY! He will be at the same school his older brother attends, so maybe that makes it a little easier, but trust me. There will be tears. It came too fast for me =(

Sew a Fine Seam said...

I'm not to that point in life - haven't even sent my first one off yet so I can only imagine how you are feeling. Some days I crave what you are facing! And yet I know I will be sad when that time comes. How time does fly by. One minute you are taking care of their every need and the next they are throwing a smile across their shoulder as they happily head out into their own lives. May you be blessed as you transition into this new phase of life!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh, I am sharing tears, IS hard. Even though it is just what you want for your children, you just miss them and what was. I am adapting to an empty nest again...pretty quiet right now, but keeping busy and creative helps me. I'll be thinking of you, Leslie. XOXO

Lori said...

I will never know how you are feeling but I can only imagine. You gave your boys wings so they could fly and from what I have seen in this short time in getting to know you ~ they are quite the boys. Will keep you in my thoughts and sending off a big hug.

Unknown said...

Just as you shared your kind and compassionate thoughts with me on Stylemindchic-for the loss of being a mother-my eyes mist up for you at this impending life change. As you know, I have not lived it, but I lived it through my husband's eyes as a father of 3. What an eloquent piece on dealing with change and a loss of sorts. You are a gifted writer. I can only imagine that how you are doing this, step by step, toes into the water, wading in a little deeper, will help prepare you. We feel it, we grieve it and create our new reality.....but for now....step by step. This is a big one......
Hugs, Heather @ Stylemindchic

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, I do not have any children but reading this post brought tears to my eyes. I do not think there will be an easy way to say, "see you at the holidays, be careful, I love you." I will be thinking of you and sending happy thoughts your way. Xx Elizabeth

Leslie said...

This is such a tough time for all of us. Life is forever changing and just when things are right .. it seems like something rocks our boat. There will be tough moments but you'll get through it Leslie! You've also got lots of support out here in blogland:)

Lou said...

Hello...oh the heart ache in this post - I can so empathise! Another blogger recommended a book to me that helps with this sort of transition - it's by Susan Jeffers and I am reading it at the moment and it has a lot of actions you can take to ease the change. It's called 'Feel the Fear - and do it anyway!'. Worth a read. All you can is what you are doing - and see this as a chance to embrace a new start - with echoes of the old one, when your boys come home - as they will in the future. Take care, deep breath, Lou x

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Been there, you made me tear up anyway. It's so hard but I'm always thrilled when I see what they can do as men...because I know it came a little from me and how I raised them.

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

Awww ... bless your heart, Leslie. I know it must be hard, letting that last one go so far away. My daughter moved into her own apartment, straight out of high school. I remember the restless nights and days spent wondering if she would be okay. In time, I came to enjoy the quietness, the freedom, the difference an empty nest brings. She's still my baby, though, and that will never change.

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

change is good, change is growing. Change can also be challeging for those who don't like change...but change is a nutural process, and as much as we want tol hold back, change is going to happen. So embracing it seems to be the best option. I am not anywhere near in dropping off any of my children to College, in fact my oldest is just now starting Kindergarten :)

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Oh I can so feel your emotions. My daughter will be heading off in another couple of weeks. Fortunately this year she is in her own apartment...and apparently she wants lots of visits!!! :) It is so hard to let them go but you are right, we need to. Easier said than done.

Christy James said...

Well you could always buy a tent and camp out outside his building, but here's no dignity in that now is there? You got me all choked up for you mostly because I have two boys of my own and I can see myself in your shoes ten years from now. You know this time will fly by and before you know it there will be daughters-in-law and grand many wonderful things still lie ahead. :)

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

Gosh this will be hard! Sometimes I think I can't wait till the day when they are all gone but I know it will hit me. Keep breathing Leslie, they know they are loved and they are strong young men xcat

Monica said...

Wow Leslie, I can only image what this feels like and I love the story of you and your oldest in the car on the way to college. I am excited to see glimpses of exciting things that will come for you during this huge change. Sending hugs (and you are the best mom every :)). xxx

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