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Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Eighteen Year Old Drove Away Today

My eighteen year old drove away today. She’ll be gone four days. I stood at the open door and watched her drive all the way to the end of the road. And then, I watched her turn, and she was gone --gone to be with friends and surrounded by people, outside the sleepy quiet of small town life.  In the spirit of giving children roots and wings, this is a good thing. My heart is heavy -- heavy with happiness that she is grown, heavy with sorrow that she has flown the coop for some independent time. I felt, a bit more deeply, the ever-present awareness that, one day, she’ll be gone for good, to a life of adulthood.

Of course I do know that. That’s the point; isn't it? All these years of nurture and education and encouragement and challenge, they were all for her leaving.  I wondered why each testing of her wings weighs so heavy on me, and then I realized it. Infertility and being the blessed mother of an "only" miracle-child mean lots of things. They mean that your oldest is also your baby, and that the first day of Kindergarten is a one-time event.  They mean that once you finally figure it out, it’s too late to use it, because there are no more children to use it with. This morning though, it hit me that they also mean that your first one to leave is also your last. The heart-stretch of watching your first one move out is also the cataclysm of becoming an empty nester.  What a gift though. What a gift, against all odds,  I have been given.

Heavenly Father, send Thine angel to watch over her and protect her, and, please Father, plan for her a life of joy.

Now, I'm going to go cry in the shower.  :)

Pax dear ones,

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  1. Oh Michelle, I feel your pain my friend! I have an only child not intending him to be sibling less, but that was Gods plan for us. Had to accept it but did feel as you did. Thought I would have another child to experience life's milestones with too. However, my one and only is the first and last and I'm embracing it better now. You've done a wonderful job at nurturing holiness in your daughter!

    1. Thank you Noreen; your comment made me smile tonight. =)

  2. I commented last night, but it looks like the internet stifled me again.

    Comment was:

    I have no words; know my tears speak for me. You guys have my love and prayers. <3

  3. I am a mother of 5 but also I am an only child. Maybe I can get a glimpse of what they felt when I grew up, moved out with my best friend and left my poor mother behind. I really didn't think about it then, but I do now that my oldest is 17. I thank God my youngest is only 2 and I will not be alone. May God bless you and your family. Your daughter looks lovely.


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