Sunday, March 10, 2013


And they just keep coming.  These lessons in letting go.  The branching out.  The getting older, growing up.  Each day I am tested in a new way.  As much as I want to hold on these children of mine keep spreading their wings.  

On Saturday Tommy had his first sleepover.  It is actually the first sleepover in our family as Joe had a few sleepovers planned but they kept getting cancelled due to illnesses and such.  Anyway, the stars aligned and Tommy was invited to his friend's house on a weekend we didn't have any major plans.  And the little cold Tommy had earlier in the week had subsided just in time.  

Saturday morning when Tommy awoke he immediately began packing his overnight bag even though he wouldn't be going to his friend's house until 4 o'clock.  To say he was excited would be an enormous understatement. Luckily, he had a four hour First Communion preparation class to attend that morning to take his mind off the impending evening of fun.  

The afternoon had finally rolled around, after what felt like a lifetime to him I'm sure, and Tommy checked and double checked his backpack to make sure he had what he needed.  He grabbed his pillow and sleeping bag for his first ever big boy night away from home.  And minutes before he headed out the door for his first night away I watched him slide his lambie tenderly into his pillowcase.  Immediately a knot formed in my throat.  

Such a juxtaposition of baby and big boy.  I know Tommy felt so grown up and yet he grabbed his lambie that he has slept with since birth and carried it with him.    
It was a reminder to me that even though they are getting bigger they are still my littles.  And it is still a big, scary world out there.  They might not always have their lambie, or bear-bear, or yellow, or puppy to comfort them but they will know I am always here.  The ever vigilant mama bear keeping them safe and slowly, slowly preparing them for the big world ahead.

Tommy's night went really well.  He had a blast.  We were a little more subdued at our house.  We jumped every time the phone rang (yes, we worry too much) and we all remarked at how the house felt strange with one of us missing.  It was a feeling none of us liked, this empty spot in the room, at the table.  And when Todd mentioned how strange it will be when one by one our kids grow up and move out of our house and I had to choke the rest of my food down through my tears.

In the end, Todd and I decided that none of our kids shall ever be allowed to go to a sleepover again.  Okay, we're not that mean, but it was harder than we thought.  We missed our Tommy.  I tackled him the minute he walked through the door and hugged him and smooched him every time he walked by.  Tommy would roll his eyes but there was a smile on his face and I knew he enjoyed being missed.

I hugged each of my kids a little tighter today during church, snuggling each of them in close to me when I could.  So thankful for the family that God has given me, and this time we get to share together, no matter how quickly it seems to rush by.


Anonymous said...

They grow up too quick sometimes :) Glad he had a good time - and you all survived his absence.

lime said...

let me tell you from experience it is a very weird feeling when they do leave the nest either for college or for moving out. but when they choose to return for a visit it's a very sweet sensation.

Mom24 said...

Beautiful Kat. He's a lucky boy to have such a loving family.

Cyndy Newsome said...

I love this post.
I am still adjusting to the fact that my middle child (oldest daughter) has friends who drive, rides around with them, and will herself be driving soon. It just doesn't seem possible.

Charmaine said...

Hey from SA :) the bitter - sweet of motherhood... lovely post Kat

Bijoux said...

Thanks for making me cry!


Dawn said...

Oh yes, that's a big milestone! I'm happy that it went well. You write so beautifully.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Those are SUCH big moments for kids! (and moms)

April said...

I'm sure I will feel the SAME way when it' time for our first sleepover!

Wisconsin Girl said...

It is such an exciting and simultaneously heartbreaking time of firsts. Losing teeth, sleepovers, school accomplishments, etc. So wonderful to see, but so hard to let go. Sam spends a week with his grandparents in summer, and as much as it makes life a bit easier on this end, I HATE to see him go and really struggle with not having him here. It's hard to put the love and connection we have with our kids into words, isn't it? But you have a special ability to put your thoughts into words that we can relate to so well.

middle-angel said...

Your posting reminds me of my anxious, lonely and a bit proud feeling when my daughter left for the United States to study, which must have been the exact same feeling of my late mom when I left for the US to study about 40 years ago. Time always passes at the same pace whatever we experience and any mother all over the world feel the same way as you experienced when their children spread their wings...

Katherine Phillips said...

Oh my goodness I can just imagine how you felt. My kids haven't spent the night out with anyone but family. No friend's sleepovers yet. I am sure I will have a heart attack when they do. I always worry even when they are with family.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Oh, I don't think I will ever let them do a sleepover...I want to be that house that everybody comes over to..think that's possible? said...

The girls have never had a sleep over at a friends but they do go to grandmas house and stay for two weeks. its hard on me. Reading this makes me miss them terribly today. I miss hearing them fight over stuff and then come to me to complain. Or voice mails saying someone did something when i am at work.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson