Parting Is Just Sorrow, It Is Not Sweet

Shakespeare had it wrong, “parting is such sweet sorrow.”  Yeah, not so much sweet, it is just sorrow.  Saying good-bye is not fun, it is not easy and I don’t like it one bit.  Why did he say it was sweet?  I don’t know.
I waited another week before posting the good byes we had to make, thinking I would cry less when I saw those pictures.  Nope, I’m sitting in my room, by myself, blogging, and crying.  I miss that man-child, so much.  Oh I still firmly believe that he needed to go, and he did go, but I still miss him.  We all notice he is missing in the house.  I cooked way too much bacon last week, seriously way too much bacon.  Idid not even know that was possible.  We had way more than the normal amount of leftovers the night we had nachos, and we’ve had soup with out complaint.  {The man-child is not a fan of food you don’t chew}  I miss him in the evening when I am sitting in my room putting the baby to sleep, he would come in, flop himself on my bed and then study his phone, laughing and scrolling along, occasionally talking but mostly sitting together.  The kids have noticed too, one of them said it was weird not to see him in the sound booth on Sunday, another said meal time was not as noisy , and R has finally been able to stretch out his legs since he sat across from C, not sure why those boys sat opposite each other, we should have paired them with a short person for leg room.

The Great University that stole my child’s heart, had a lovely orientation where parents fears were calmed, plans were made, and rooms were set up.  Meetings and kid college were attended, classrooms were peeked into, and samplings of meals were enjoyed.  In the end the Good Bye was inevitable and unavoidable as much as I was anxious to leave him I knew I had to.IMG_1915They took a picture of the entire freshmen-incoming students on the porch.
It was an impressive process.
C is on the 2nd row from the top, in front of the 2nd doors from the right.IMG_1900Some little girl, who idolized her big brother, was starting to show signs of stress.
She was sad, her tummy hurt, and she was grumpy.IMG_1895Photo bomb by J.
I was trying to get a pic of A and O when J just walked into the shot.IMG_1917After the class picture all the students were to find their families for a final prayer lead by the University President.
I know I was not the only Mama crying at that time.  IMG_1919PS and C, my book ends.IMG_1920Frick and Frack these two have had a secret club, even if she denies it, she will miss the club they have had their whole lives.IMG_1923R has been looking forward to this hug for weeks now.
C is NOT a hugger but R is.
We gave R 5 whole seconds and he took them all!IMG_1924This little girl sure does love her big brother.
He is her hero, and she misses him.IMG_1925J has great plans for C’s room now that he is gone, first step is painting the room Maze and Blue.IMG_1927Yeah, this girl…  she loves her brother.IMG_1929That is me, doing what I did most of the trip, crying or trying to hold back the tears.IMG_1930Oh boy… Almost as tall as his dad.
No, neither of them cried…
IMG_0406All the kids hugging on C.  He was thrilled, can’t you tell?
{the building over R’s elbow, the center building is C’s dorm}10350338_10205148338414321_6591605631978263613_nOne last picture before I left my heart in Ky and we headed home.

Oh sure, things are starting to settle down, we are falling into routine, but every day my heart hurts when I think of him.  I have texted and he has called, but it is not the same.  It will never be the same, and for that I am sad.  He L O V E S it up there, has found a group of friends who are just like him.  Two weeks into his new life, classes are going along nicely, his books should arrive in the next day or so, he has had mail in his PO box, more than inter campus junk. He has a job and is riding his bike to avoid the freshman 15, the temperatures are so nice that riding is relaxing, except for the hills. He decided taking French would be fun, his professor only speaks in French, he now has a tutor, he even went to a soccer game, because it was not too hot, and enjoyed that too.  I am thrilled he loves the college life, I am  glad he is being stretched academically and I am happy that he is happy.
I still miss him.

Go hug your kids because when you least expect it they will grow up on you.
I am serious go hug them!
jen

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The Campus Reveal

I had never been on campus, never saw what he fell in love with, never experienced what he had experienced on his visits.
On Tuesday as he was organizing his space we took a self led tour of some of the campus.  Most importantly the building where most of his classes will be, and the gym.  The gym mostly for O and J.

Warning photo overload.
There were some pretty cool things to see in the Media building.IMG_1840The back of the media building.  It was quite large, and is used for outside filming shots.  I did not even get the complete building in the frame.
The lights work, as do the clocks, the doors and windows lead into real rooms.
It is a fantastic building.IMG_1856A sound stageIMG_1857Same stage just the other side of the room.IMG_1859The HULKS pants, and Little A.

All around the building were artifacts and props used in productions that a grad has worked on, in some shape or form, from the Olympic rings and a dress worn in the London Olympics, to the hood from Herbie The Love Bug.  There was a broom from Harry Potter, and pieces from Narnia.  The desk from Grinch stole Christmas, and the vegetable peeler from Honey I Shrunk The Kids.IMG_1862The knives from Wolverine, some Emmy Awards, the script from Dead Poets Society, there were so many things to look at, read about and be amazedIMG_1867The gum balls from Bedtime Stories, did you know they were actually foam and soft rubber balls?  Nope me either.IMG_1861A camera from the set of I Love Lucy.IMG_1873Sound stage.IMG_1868Can she be any cuter?IMG_1872Checking out the sound stage.IMG_1885His DormIMG_0382His roomIMG_0383I wanted all the kids along, for this trip, I wanted them to see where he would be living, where he would be going to class and where he would be eating.  I did not think about taking them ALL to target during back to school shopping to shop for things, not for them.  That whole experience was ridiculous, and not enjoyable.IMG_1888Just waiting around before our next activity.IMG_0388PS and I took some time to relax and read a magazine out on the green near C’s dorm,
Keith took the rest of the kids to show them something, when he returned we all laid in the soft grass waiting to see C again.IMG_1892This little cutie-pie was not quiet during meetings, and not happy being held she wanted to move, and crawl, and climb.

We knew our time was short with C, but we also knew he wanted to do this himself.  We tried to give him as much space as possible while still trying to make memories.

The university did a great job of reassuring parents of any fears they might have.  The funny thing is, I was not fearful of leaving him, just plain old sad.  There was child care for the siblings so the parents could actually listen, and ask questions in our meetings.  Some parents had a lot of questions!  The university did a great job explaining things during orientation, so very different from the college Keith and I went to, drop off your kids on the appropriate day, and leave.  This was better, especially for this sad mama.

Go hug your kids, life is just too short.  We were reminded of how fragile life is while we were gone.
jen

The End of The Road {Trip}

As I said before, we left on Sunday to take my man-child to THAT university.  The university to whom I am giving my boy and in 4 short years they will give me a man.  Yes it will be 4 short years!  How do I know that?  Time races on, in 4 years I will only have 1 child at home, a lower elementary student, a middle schooler, a freshman in high school, 2 in college with one graduating college and 1 high school senior.  I’ve come to grips with it, but that does not mean I will like it!  As I’ve said to a friend, the days are short but the moments are long.  You know what I mean, the moments of car line, or potty training, temper tantrums, and science projects they seem as though they will never end, but as suddenly as the school year starts it ends.

We left on Sunday, after a traditional breakfast of cinnamon rolls, our first day of school treat.  We made it to a friend’s house for the night, we made the 8.5 hour trip on 10 full hours!!!  Not too bad, I packed our lunches, and we stopped for dinner.  I drove through torrential rains.  On a side note: when did rainy driving make hazards appropriate.  I will admit it was bad B A D bad.  As soon as the hard rains started, I noticed so many cars turn on their hazards.  It really was strange.  IMG_2458Our dinner break at Steak-n-Shake.  Sundays Kids eat free per every $8 spent.  But adding shakes for everyone takes away any free meal savings you receive.  We were apparently a side-show for a couple in their 60’s, the woman visibly counted our table 3 times, and the man could not stop watching us.  And no one spilled, or fell or broke anything…  IMG_0371After spending the night at our friends house, we continued on making sure to stop at Fazoli’s for lunch, we have not had one in town for 8 years, some of our kids have no memory of eating there.  Plenty of carbs!  We left but only after, PS dumped my drink all over me, C and R made a few trips to the counter for bread sticks, and 2 kids completed the word search.  We continued on to another friends house arriving in Lexington late afternoon.  Keith asked if we wanted to drive by the campus.  I most certainly did NOT.  I was not yet ready for the inevitable.  IMG_1062PS stretched her legs and crawled around the family room, IMG_2742E wore my friend SC little guy’s costume as the kids played a game of dress up – superhero – sword chase – hide and seek.IMG_0374Little A and SC’s little girl skipped that game for a more refined game of dress-up, her little girl was a dinosaur.
So the triceratops and Anna played together.IMG_0376We all went for a nice walk later that evening, the weather was beautiful and the company was wonderful!
Almost made me forget the reason we were up there.

In the morning we left bright and early to complete the reason for our road trip.

IMG_1884The End of the road trip
The Library {where he now has a job!}

We spent the morning going through registration, eating lunch and dumping things in his room.  after which we took a trip to target for those last-minute supplies.  If you’ll remember, I said he went from 2 full size dressers, now he has a 3 drawer dresser, and a small closet.  We ended up buying a plastic dresser for him.  O found it amusing that the first drawer was full of hair product, the second drawer was suspenders and belts, I have a feeling we should have bought 2 of them.

We did not help with much in his room, he really wanted to do it himself.  I offered to dump all his clothes in a pile in the middle of the room, just so he could feel at home.  He did not think that was funny.

Every step, every form, every task completed broke my heart a little more. By evening time, I was headachy and sick to my stomach with sadness, I felt guilty because this was not supposed to be a sad, but a happy adventure.  And I was sad.  Morning the loss of my family as it was.  I could hardly talk to strangers because tears were bubbling to the surface, I wanted out of the place, and fast.  Knowing that if I was out of there I would not see him until Christmas.  Which made me very sad to even think about.  Those 2 days were so hard on this mama.

Ok before I start really crying again, go hug your kids, life is just too short!
jen

 

Saying Good Bye to Home

Last Saturday we had a good-bye lunch.  All the family came, we sat around laughing and talking {and trying not to cry, mostly I tried not to cry} we just had sandwiches and family.  Also a cookie cake, because I firmly believe all occasions can be celebrated with a giant cookie covered in frosting.IMG_1769The familyIMG_1767O and I were “twinsies.”  But only if one of us stood on our heads…  She was the upside down person!IMG_1802Papa, E, C, and little A.IMG_1777Beda and CIMG_1809Grandma, Pow, and CIMG_1810Aunt Kim came home a day earlier than normal from camp just to make it in time to say goodbye.  {She also played packing Janga by helping me load the van.  The man-child had 2 dressers and a closet full of clothes, packed into 3 suitcases and 3 garbage bags of hanging clothes, 9 pair of shoes, a bike, a mini fridge, and a few boxes of computer stuff.  We did it, we fit it all with out renting a trailer}IMG_1819Our good friends, his choir teacher came to say good-bye.IMG_1820Not going to hug goodbyeIMG_1823One last picture before they both head off to college.  Good Bye EC IMG_1828O painted this for C as a going away gift.  Shhhh, don’t tell but he LOVES Tangled!
She gave it to him at dinner time, his LAST meal choice was steak and shells-n-cheese.IMG_1836Good Bye Aunt Pooise

Good byes are so hard, knowing that you will see the person again, but knowing there will be changes when you do.

We left last week Sunday, stayed at a friend’s house, then continued on to another friends house before going to THAT university, the one who took my boy and will give me a man.  Oh such a hard time for this mama.

Go hug your kids because one day soon they will walk away from you!
jen

The Last of the Lasts

Forgive me if I sound morbid, or sound as though I am mourning, when no one has died.  I feel as though I am mourning my picture of my family.  We are down to the last of the lasts, the final countdown for taking the man-child to THAT University, we leave on Sunday.  As we count down to the end I realize that I am mourning the changes taking place in our family.  I am sad because next Wednesday we say good-bye to all that we have known.  I love my family just like it is, all my chicks under my wing, all my chicks at home, I like a big noisy family, I love together.  And next Wednesday as we drive away with out the man-child we won’t be together.  Oh sure I know he will be home at Christmas and hopefully he will be home for Thanksgiving, but when he does come back there will be a change.  It won’t be the same, it won’t ever be the same.  And that is why I am sad.

I am sad because I love that boy more than life itself, {I love all my children more than my own life} I love with a passion that surprises me, I forgive when wronged, I cheer him on, and laugh when I don’t want to,  I am sad because those quick quiet moments won’t happen as easily or freely.  He will not be needing a ride to or from work for those 4 minutes together, he won’t come lay on my bed and annoy me with funny stories, he won’t be in his room hiding from dinner help.  He will be hours and hours away.  That makes me sad.

I am sad because we have gotten down to the last of the lasts.  Sunday night was our last wing night, before…  IMG_1730Before he leaves us, and before she leaves us…
EC is thankfully going to a University in town so we will see her, not as often as before but we will still get to see her.IMG_1726PS and the boys.  Her body guards.IMG_1727AC has proven just how busy going to the local university is, we have hardly seen her these last 2 years.  We know EC will be just as busy.IMG_1732C brought this home from Rocket Fizz a few weeks ago, for a Wing night treat.  I did take pictures of everyone sampling it, but the census was the pop tasted like Orange Soda with a little kick.  I did not even taste it. IMG_1755A good-bye hug, he is not too fond of hugs, our friend has listened to C’s stories, laughed at his jokes and sheltered our family during hurricanes,  she has loved on him since he was 2.5 years old.  She got a hug, or actually she earned a hug!IMG_1756Photo Bomb by Dad!

The last few days he has plans, lunches with friends and work, trying to earn the most he can out of his summer.  We are thankful that his work has promised to hold his job until he gets back.

He has lunch plans for the next 2 days, then we will have family lunch on Saturday, for his goodbye lunch we are having sandwiches and a cookie cake.  Everyone will be here, I will cry, his good-bye dinner was his choice of steak.  I have never purchased a raw steak before, at least Keith will fix it so I don’t have to touch it!

What about you, did you leave for college or a job?  How did your mom handle it?  I asked my mom when she left me at college how did she react, she said she shed a few tears as she drove back to the airport to fly home.

Go hug your kids, school is starting, times are changing, they need your love
jen

X-ray Vision

I don’t have x-ray vision, and honestly I don’t want to have it either.
But what I do have is a copy of Keith’s x-rays.keith x-rayHere it is, do you see that little crack?
Yes that is the root of Keith’s pain!
On a happy note he can put on and take off his shirt with out help and hardly any wincing or moaning in pain.  {It is really cramping my sleep style every morning as I try to sleep in, having to listen to him get dressed…  Sheesh keep it down already!}

No seriously we are seeing improvement in the last 2 weeks.  It still hurts him something terrible, he is now a pleasure to shop with, he usually races on ahead but we went out to the grocery store and I actually had to slow down and walk with him.  I could get used to this!  He is getting better at getting dressed with out pain, he loaded the dishwasher last night, and even picked up a big book with his bad side.  He is using the heating pad to relax the muscles and control muscle spasms.  Hopefully he is really healing properly.  The doctor said it could take up to 5 weeks for it to feel better, we are almost 2 weeks down and improving.

We are a little concerned, when he lays down we can feel and hear a crackle sound.  That is just not normal.  We will get these pictures to our doctor and see what he says about that crackle.

What about you, ever have a broken rib?  I’ve never even had a broken bone.
Go hug your kids, life is moving faster and one day you will miss those smelly hugs.
jen