Nine people, 2000 miles, 30+ hours driving over 13 days. What was I thinking! I was thinking I wanted to eek out every last second with my oldest, Isaac, before dropping him off at college. I was thinking, I'm not ready to let him go.
|Florence & children|
Molas Lake, Colorado
|Peter & children|
I am not ready for this new stage of parenting, but who really is ready for anything? I keep telling myself it is a beginning and not an end, but it is hard to convince my heart.
We all gave Isaac cards--here are the 3 little's cards:
|College, Miss You, Asher (He started to write love but got too tired)|
|We will miss you. We love you and I hope you have a good time at college. Eva|
We are an extremely close and open family, so it wasn't from lack of feeling or love that no one cried when we dropped Isaac off. It was because traveling with seven kids is like trying to herd cats. There wasn't time to let yourself feel much. When feelings started to bubble up---the baby cried and needed to nurse or a child fell and scraped their knee, or got stung by a bee, or wanted to know what we are doing next or when we will eat or HOW MUCH LONGER?
|Hiking at Arches|
Two days after getting home, as I was attempting to unpack between bouts of nursing, my throat tightened and tears started to come when I saw my homeschool bookshelf.
I was ready to have a good cry and release, but then someone--or three--needed me. One of these days, I promise myself, I'll take the time I need to cry, but for now I'm still trying to put the house together and my 6th has come down with a stomach bug and my husband and 3rd are off on a camping trip, and someone forgot to lock the chicken door after collecting eggs and we had to gather the chickens.
A few days after getting home from dropping Isaac off at college, Asher (4) said, "We forgot Isaac at college!" When I explained that we didn't forget him, but that we planned on leaving him, Asher had a stream of questions, "Why did he not come in the car with us? Why does he not share the bunkbeds with his brothers anymore? Why does he have to stay there? I miss him. Mommy, when do I grow up older than Isaac? Why does Isaac have to learn to be like an adult?" As I went through pictures of our trip, Asher was by my side and said, "That's when we were keeping Isaac." I am so glad I chose to homeschool, because the biggest gift it gave me was time together. I taught Isaac for 17 years and I'm going to miss teaching him. However, I'm excited for the new adventures that await him.
During our drive from New Mexico I entertained and sang lullabies to our youngest, Eleanora, almost the whole time.
Vocals are quiet, but oh how I love her sweet smile.
|Finally asleep after an hour of singing lullabies|
It is a balm to my soul that I get to do this for at least 17 more years. The privilege of intimately knowing another human being, one that I made, no less. I take comfort that my oldest, might not need lullabies anymore, but thankfully, he still needs me in a different way, because no one ever stops needing the ones they love.
|Isaac--our last Sunday home together|