Monday, August 18, 2008

looking back, looking ahead

I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, it was seven years ago this summer. Jake was going to church camp as an ingoing sixth grader. I was a camp counselor.

He was so young and had no experience leaving home and being a part of a camp situation for a whole week. He was thrown into a group of mostly seventh and eighth graders, people he didn't really know all that well because he had just joined the youth group. Sure, he had his mom around but it wouldn't have been cool to acknowledge her, let alone lean on her for either support or comfort.

I could only watch from afar. The first few days were the hardest. From my mother's eyes - and heart - I observed what seemed like a mere child who was on the fringe of the activity most of the time. He seemed lonely. He seemed friendless. It broke my heart.

This is some of what I'm feeling at the moment. Jake leaves for college tomorrow. He's not old enough to leave home. He's going to be lonely, out of place, friendless. I need to protect him, to hold his hand, to help him through all the tricky twists and turns ahead.

Of course, that isn't true. It's just how I feel as his mother. Feelings, I'm realizing, that don't change as fast as a child ages. In that way, college is going to be more of an adjustment for me than it will be for him.

At camp, it didn't take more than a couple of days for Jake to not only become an integral part of the group, but to be that kid that others enjoyed being around. He was cute, smart, nice, polite, friendly, a little mischievous, resourceful, and responsible. I found myself letting go of the mother role for the rest of the week because he didn't need [or want] that from me during that time.

Jake has those same qualities now. In fact, they are stronger now and he has acquired even more. He will do well living away from his home and in college. He will be learning more about himself, about life, and about learning. He will make new friends and experience student life. He will enjoy himself in his new environment. And as a mother, could I ask for anything more?

I am proud, and Don and I have accomplished what is meant to be. We've worked hard for 18 years to come to this point. We are indeed proud and happy. I just have one question... how long will this lump in my throat and tear in my eye remain?


Jamey said...

That brought tears to my eyes. You have obviously done a wonderful job as parents. I will be thinking of your family tomorrow!!

Penless Thoughts said...

You should be very proud and I know you are.

Mam said...

I'd like to tell you it'll go away, but I'd be lying. God bless you and your tender heart.
I have tagged you - see my blog.

Amber said...

Here I am whining about Hadley going to preschool four mornings a week and Jake is going off to COLLEGE. WOWOWOWOW! What a wonderful job you have done!

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

Did you ahve to make me freaking cry??? AGGGGHH - Diana! I know I am a few yaers away, but this kills me. In fact, I think my next post will be regarding this.

Congrats to you though, you guys seem to have raised a very great young Christian man. :)

MightyMom said...

I don't want to talk about it!

sniff sniff....

kailani said...

I'm not sure it will ever go away. It will be there when he gets married, has his children, and every step along the way. :-)

Short Stop said...

What a blessed boy he is to have you as his Momma. I have no doubt he'll carry your love for him as he heads off to this new season of life. And such an exciting one.

You are an inspiration to us younger moms. You have such a tender and loving heart, and it comes through in posts like this.

Praying for you, my friend.

Momma Roar said...

I appreciate these posts, Diana, because it makes me try to enjoy each day a little more knowing that down the road, the kids will be moving on.

I know he will be a success at college, because you've trained him very well, and you are gonna do great too!!!! :D

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