Rippin’ that arm off again and kids going off to college

Ok, it is time for the ripping to begin.  I am talking about the season when our college kids go back to their campuses or our big kids go back to their jobs or our babies go off to college for the first time!

Or maybe it is your baby going off to Kindergarten or your homeschooler going off to school for the first time as a 6th grader or 8th grader.  I have talked with you all.

Waaaaaahhhhhhhh….the cry heard round the world.  Moms everywhere unite- you know what I am talking about.

Sometimes we are glad and happy when the latter part of August rolls around and we are READY for that one to get the heck out of Dodge…usually I only feel  a little like that and more the bittersweet mom-mix of,

” I love you, but it is time for you to go.”
This week I cried after I dropped off one son and left a barely intelligible phone message with a friend as I barreled down the highway on my way home from the airport.  She called later that day with the hushed tones of the “I am  not sure what looney-tune I am going to encounter” when Leslie answers the phone mindset.  Embarrassed, I told her I just needed to talk with someone when I was driving home from taking the boy and didn’t realize I was going to come unglued and not even be able to finish a sentence and sound like I was on my last leg.  I needed to hear that she still cried when hers left.  To know that I am not some freak.  It still is hard, but good and right.
Motherhood is bittersweet.

Bittersweet.  Not sure I really like that word, but I think it describes motherhood well.

Does it ever get easier to say goodbye?  I think yes, it does, but it still is hard.  A few days pass, or weeks pass and you “see” your child in their new world and see that it is all going to be ok- really great sometimes.  We don’t want them to come home and live, really, but it does hurt to see them walk off and enter the dorm door or  move away through the security line at the airport.  But isn’t this what we have been preparing them for?  A life apart from us,  independence, standing on the promises of God and living!

Yes, we have been preparing them, but don’t forget to prepare yourself.  Not sure how to do that, really.  Grace yourself when you get sad.  Hug those necks and let your kids see you cry- it is ok.  Good and right, really.  And it is part of the whole deal.  No one tells you about this part when you get that little bundle all swaddled up in the hospital.  But we don’t really need to know this part then.  God doesn’t give us grace for our imaginations.  Just the here and now.

I have talked to so many in the past few weeks in all stages of sending kids off and let’s just say:

It is Hard!
It is bittersweet.
Crying is ok and encouraged.

One friend I talked with was at the grocery store buying potatoes, and I made her start crying, sorry!  But it is ok to cry and as friends, we need to make ourselves a safe place where people can cry.

So, in these dog days of August as schools start back all over, remember to be ready with a shoulder if someone needs to cry or vent.  Let’s remind each other of the SURSEE of a new day and that He is faithful to walk with us in these rippin’ off arms days.  Let’s be real and talk about the Bittersweet and remind each other of the truths that we know.  He is good.  Always.

Longhorn #1
Longhorn #2
W&L Man
We always take a picture of the guys when we drop them off and then when they graduate!
My last Longhorn Photo is coming~


  1. Love this, I have been dealing with this for two weeks, but not feeling great that it gets worse. I made that same phone call to my friend, crying and not making much sense, when I dropped of Ashlyn at church choir camp for middle school. She didn’t know anyone, I had never thought about that since she was going to a school that fed from the previous. Se did fine, and friends showed up eventually. Lets hope I got all the tears out! She starts school on Monday.

  2. “God doesn’t give us grace for our imaginations. Just the here and now.”

    That is so beautifully put, Leslie! Thanks for sharing!


  1. […] You are going to make it, He says.  I am with you and Do not fear right there in the Word. Hold onto that truth, gal, no matter what stage you are in.  Whether your stage is little guys giving up a nap or big guys going off to college. […]

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