Friday, September 20, 2013


Launch Day!

My brother-in-law is a rocket scientist. How cool is that?  When they have a launch scheduled, his life is on-hold.  His family knows that until that rocket launches, they are in a holding pattern. 

Today I launch my son, Thomas, my lastborn child. My emotional life has been in a holding pattern this last month as I have prepared to take him to college.  I am nervous, excited, expectant, and sad. But to be honest, the winning emotion here is GRATITUDE.  

 Back in 1994, the thought of a third child was just a hope. When God blessed us with not only a third child but a SON, my heart overflowed with gratitude. Tommy has been a joy to raise. He started out laid-back, and he has been that way ever since. He has given me so many proud moments, along with some moments of raw fear, thank-you-very-much! He has been an appreciative eater, which if you know me and my love of feeding people, is a HUGE thing! He has cared for me with quiet stability.  I love him more than life.

When our lives were turned upside-down a couple years ago, I set a goal with regards to Thomas.  I wanted to heal to the point that he did not feel that he had to stay with me to take care of me. When he was accepted to Central in January, I was thrilled. He reached his goal, and I reached mine. God is good!

When I awoke this morning, I knew this day would be very different than most, so I started out the way I always do--by
making myself a cup of coffee. When I reached in the fridge to grab the creamer, there was a little box from the Cheesecake Factory containing a slice of cherry cheesecake, my favorite. A post-it note on the top said, "MOM."

The first of many tears began to flow at that point. Soon I will wake Tommy up, make him some bacon and eggs. We'll pack his car, then mine, and off we'll go...over the mountain to Ellensburg. I'll make his dorm-bed, get him situated, and off I'll go. At that moment, my role will change. I have been nurturer/grower for 25 years, starting with Molly. Today I will begin the slow-shift to full-time cheerleader.  I do not know what this looks like, exactly, but I will cherish the role just as I have cherished parenting all these years.

I am ready. I am ready because Tommy is ready. Yes, I will likely have to pull over as soon as the college is out of sight. I'll need to cry a good one before hitting the freeway for home.  And then the reality of this day will begin to sink in, and I'll cry some more. But truly, this is the best kind of pain, isn't it?  Growing children to the point that they can leave you is a beautiful privilege. 

I will miss this child!  I will miss feeding him, watching Pawn Stars with him, and hearing his "'Night Mom, I love you," voice when he comes in at midnight. I have boxes stashed in which I will send him sour gummy worms, beef jerky, laundry quarters and gas money. I will look forward to his first-day-of-school text. And I will pray for him. God is good! Tommy: YOU GOT THIS!


Kari said...

I love you Christie. Thanks for being such an inspiration, trail-blazer and role model in parenting well. Your sharing is beautiful on so many levels!

Shari said...

That is sooo precious, Christie! You sound way more prepared than I ever was and way more wise! You have the best yet to come, spouses coming to complete your family! I can't imagine life without our daughters in love, now! Enjoy these college years to the fullest while they still come home with their laundry! In our move up to Maine, it took me 2 or 3 months to realize there was no kid coming home with their laundry... and then the empty next really hit!! Love you sooooo much!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

To a new beginning and redefining normal! Godspeed!