Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Babies/Kids/Big Kids

My middle child heads off to college in the morning.  It was touching that she decided to hang out with mom and dad this evening rather than hiding away in the basement like she typically does in the evening.

Sunday night I decided it would be a good idea to watch a family movie.  We have been doing family movie night on Fridays (when possible) for the past few years.  I realized Sunday, after returning from a weekend away with friends and family, that this might be our last opportunity for that tradition so we all sat down together and watched a movie about a drummer married to a redhead who quit his rock band to get a real job and raise kids!  We shared several laughs during the first fifteen minutes of the movie, as the characters were introduced and developed.

At the conclusion of the movie, I decided I needed to say something.  Now, mind you... I have these "lists" (see earlier blog post on "lists").  They are metaphorical, but basically state that there are lists of things you simply cannot tell a 12 year old, because they just won't understand.  There are also things you cannot tell a 20 year old.  A 30 year old.  Until one has lived long enough and gained enough life experience, there are simply things that just aren't thoroughly understood.  Then, when we reach a certain age, we say, "oh.... THAT'S what they meant by that."

What I said to my family (really, to my kids) was this...
When (married) people are in their upper 20s or 30s, they often decide to have babies.  BABIES. They decide to start a family and have kids.  KIDS.  They don't decide to have BIG KIDS (my youngest is 14).  The typical 26 year old doesn't have the life experience to even fathom what it might be like to have an 18 year old child.  They certainly don't DECIDE to have ADULT CHILDREN!  There is not a 30 year old pregnant couple (my age when KaCee was born) who has ever even considered what it might be like to send their child off to college.

But, I'm 48 and my reality is that I'm sending my second child to college tomorrow morning where she will study Art and Graphic Design while being a collegiate athlete (I'm two for two in that dept.  No pressure, Zac) as a bowler for Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.

Chalk this up to something that would go on many of my "lists."  These are days we simply don't think will ever come.  I will do my best to celebrate tomorrow, while knowing it will be difficult.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeff! Les here: Greetings from an "old" friend. Boy, did your post make me stop and think! And reminisce. I recall watching my first gleefully leap into the car and off she rode. I followed the taillights to the end of the subdivision, deeply sighed a sigh of loss, turned off the garage light and shut the door. I also at that moment shut the door on her "childhood" (birth to 18, if that's 'childhood'). My life was never the same again.

    Since then, two others have left the nest for college. They've returned, and my son has not yet left. Nonetheless, it will be just as big an adjustment as the first. There is, however, the knowledge that each stage of life has its deep and abiding joys, and these keep you optimistic and interested in the future. I do deeply miss the cuddling with my kids in the overstuffed blue chair, but I also know I really love the people they have become. It's kinda like opening what you're pretty sure will be a big, beautiful gift: You almost don't want to spoil the box, but you're dying to find out what's inside, and you're pretty sure that's what's inside will be even better!

    I'm glad you reposted this. Thanks! I just spent some moments strolling Down Memory Lane, being thankful for blessings I couldn't even comprehend at age 25..