September 12, 2008

A New Phase of Life

In eight days we'll be driving our oldest child to his new home--a college dorm room. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm excited for him, nervous for him, and sad for me. I'll miss all those long discussions standing in the hallway outside his room or in front of the fireplace downstairs. Peter is always learning new things and has an interesting view on almost every subject. I love to talk to him.

But I can't be selfish. From the day he was born I've known that my job is to prepare him for the big outside world. He is ready. He's more than ready--he's chomping at the bit. The fact that his school doesn't start until the end of September has made the summer seem very long for him. He can't wait to meet everyone and start his classes and begin this new phase of life.

Me on the other hand, I'm trying to downplay his move and avoid breaking down into a blubbering mass. I've decided that he's not moving away, he's just going to camp. Afterall, he went to camp last summer and was gone for six weeks. This year I'll see him in only a month (parents' weekend is the end of October) and then four weeks later (Thanksgiving) and then three weeks after that he's home for Christmas break. And for those weeks in between we have email, Google chat, and cell phones.

But my delusion is not fool-proof. I've been helping him pack. Today I gathered some kitchen and medicine cabinet supplies. I guess he really is moving. He'll have a different address. When he's sick, I won't be there. Oh no, I feel the blubbering mass coming on.

This all reminds me of when he was six years old. We joined a homeschool group that held Friday classes in a church building. That first day we held hands and approached the front door. Just as I reached for the door knob, he said quietly, "I'm excited, but I'm also a little bit afraid."

I know how you feel, sweetheart. Now it's my turn.

The story continues:
Peter's Last Week at Home
Homeschooling Ends Here
Move In Day for Peter
A New Thing
Peter's First Week of Classes
An Unschooler at College #1
An Unschooler at College #2
An Unschooler at College #3--the first paper
Newsy Tidbits
Home for the Holidays
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
My very first post about Peter:
School, An Endless Summer


Lilly said...

Very sweet Jena. You have a way with words and know how to end with impact. I am thinking of you and will be. You're son only leaves for freshman year once. Let the tears come. Praying for God's comfort.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post. You are heading down a whole new journey in your life. Cathy

||| laura frantz ||| said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing that.

Jena said...

Thanks, ladies. I got very emotional writing that post yesterday. OK, I cried my eyes out. But I feel much better now and I told Peter not to worry, his mom is not going to fall apart when he leaves. This is normal, and he will have a wonderful time at camp. :)

G.Dowell said...

Thanks, Jena for opening your life up to us. I love learning from you as you travel this homeschool/parenting road ahead of me. I'm already dreading the emotional turmoil of the empty nest.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow...I could just FEEL your emotion as your were writing this post. I am in total denial that we will ever hit this phase. Please tell me how to slow it down!! Blessings to you as you get your guy ready for "camp."

Kimmie said...


What an exciting journey God has you on. I will be praying for you, as I only can imagine what that final kiss must be like, before you let go and head home. So glad you have so many wonderful memories -there will be many many more...I know it.

bless you!

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Motherbird said...

What a sweet post- it almost turned me into a blubbering mess too.
You have a lovely blog.

Traci said...

Mine are so little, and yet after reading this I just wanted to go hug them! That last picture undid me! Blessings to you!

23 degrees said...

Jena, he is a fine young man with a good head and enormous heart, awaiting his next adventure.

He is blessed to have such loving parents and friends—and to have experienced all your family has gone through as you seek to follow Jesus so passionately.

Watch out, world!

Godspeed Peter!!

Heather said...

--hoping you are all right, both about son leaving and the major storming that was over towards you all. Awfully quiet over here.

Jena said...

Thank you everyone for your encouragement! He'll do great...I'll be fine...this is the purpose of parenting...continuing to give myself pep talks. :)

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