The Long Goodbye

I think I’m still adjusting to it, to be honest with you.

That empty bedroom down the hall.

When my son came home from college for Thanksgiving, it was magical. He had only three days to visit, so we crammed in all the laughing, chatting, eating, and hanging out that we could muster in that short period of time. It was his first visit home since he went away to college in September and he seemed genuinely happy to be here.

To sit and watch him pester his sister, play with the dog, and stretch his lanky frame out across my couch again?

Pure awesome.

Christmas break was a whole month long…at least a week too long, we all decided. After the first week or so we had all settled into old routines for the most part. Almost as if he’d never left.

His floor was once again littered with socks, more of his friends were home to make plans with, and we were suddenly back in the business of parenting: curfews, chores, do-this, do-that, get a haircut, clean your room.

When he finally went back to school in early January, it was time.

And yet…

I found myself tip-toeing past his closed bedroom door, still thinking he was in bed and sleeping late. Buying his favorite snacks at the grocery store, only to remember that he won’t be home until April. Setting aside the Sunday comics for him when I brought in the newspaper.

Old routines; familiar little mothering stuff that only a mom understands.

Little mothering stuff that I can’t do for him anymore.

I sat in his room for a bit yesterday, after I had remade his bed with clean sheets in anticipation of his next visit.

This big boy room that we moved him to when his sister’s birth was imminent. The big boy bed he slept in straight from the crib. Awards hanging on the wall, movie ticket stubs taped together in a long strip on the mirror, silly photo booth pictures from Senior Ball stuck to the mirror.

The memories in this room are piled 16 years deep; and yet they are right on the surface of my heart.

He smiles back at me from the Senior Ball picture; or at least I think he does.

And I know he’s exactly where he needs to be right now.

But there’s a hole in that empty bedroom down the hall.

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It’s Wednesday, and that means I’m also hanging out over at Moonfrye! Today I’m coming clean about how I almost lost it all last week but nobody was the wiser. Or at least, that’s how I remember it. Come visit me over there…I promise I won’t make you do any chores.

One Giant Leap

It’s that time of year again.

Kindergarten Registration is here.

One of the most anxiety-ridden decisions many parents will make. Where to send them, full-day or half, are they even ready?

Am I even ready?

But by the time you’ve made your decisions and get ready to sign on the dotted line you may as well accept the fact.

You’re a Kindergarten Mom now.

Don’t stress; there is a whole lot of cool stuff in kindergarten. I’ve seen it twice from the perspective of a worried parent, and I see it daily at the elementary school I work at.

Cute little buggars, those kindergartners are.

I’m over at Moonfrye today telling brand-new kindergarten moms what that first year will really be like.

Kinda behind-the-scenes.

Bring a snack to share, your dried noodle collage for show-and-tell, pull up a teeny-tiny chair and click here to read.

What is “Special”, Anyway?

I love my collection of red stoneware.

Not just a Christmas red, but a deep, rich red that goes along with the greens and golds in my dining room. I love looking at them all year round.

But as much as I love my red dishes, bowls, and mugs there is something about them I hadn’t realized until my daughter made me change my thinking.

I’m over at Moonfrye today talking about how a 13 year-old can be wise beyond her years.

And I’m glad I watched her example.

I would love for you to visit me over at Moonfrye today. Click here and go read my story about the red stoneware.

Bring a snack to share, because I have plenty of plates just waiting.