The Ward family dropped Robert off to his Junior year at UGA Friday. He will be living in an apartment (rather than in campus housing) and preparing most of his meals on his own each day/week (rather than relying on the meal plan). I think we have never taken more stuff than the amount we took Friday. I don’t think we stopped except for lunch and dinner. We were on the go unloading, unpacking, cleaning, putting away kitchen stuff, testing fire alarms, running through the condition checklist, and other numerous activities all related to moving in. Then, we went to lunch at Five Guys Burger and Fries, followed by trips to Target and Kroger. After more unloading and putting away, we ended out the day with a nice dinner and scooted out of town to the mountains with Robert going back to his “home” in Athens. Gulp. Sigh.
You know, it has yet to get any easier for me to drop him off. I stand on tip-toe to hug him and plant a mother’s smooch on his stiff-fuzzed cheeks, yet I can still smell the little boyness of him in those moments. My advice is less requested as he relies on Rob’s advice, help, and input. I have been practicing keeping quiet and nodding (not well, at times). This is as it should be and I am pleased to be at this stage of parenting, BUT it’s still not easy. Lump in the throat.
He did come to me for help in the kitchen department. So, my move-in gift to him was cookware, pans, utensils, and a cookbook I put together for him. I also put together two weeks’ worth of menues and grocery lists (per his request) until he builds up his confidence and time management skills in the cooking department. His first meal to cook on his own was on Saturday evening and he and I spent some time back and forth on the phone talking through it and texting about it. He sent a picture when it was done and plated and I was so proud! He prepared poppyseed chicken, green beans, Rice-A-Roni, and bread. After he commented on how long it took him to get this done, I asked him if he appreciated my cooking more than ever? He emphatically responded, “Yes!” Smile. See his results?
Then, as if my melancholy was not deep enough, David and Rob enjoyed attempts over dinner Saturday to make me sad about his being gone in a year by beginning conversation with, “This time next year….it’ll just be me and you.” Or, “This time next year….you’ll go home to an empty house.” Isn’t that nice?! Grimace.
So, we returned home to awaken yesterday to sending David off to his last first day of school with us. I still made him pose for his first day of school picture. I swear, but I think this was the biggest smile ever on any of his “first days”. He’s so excited about this senior year and I want to be excited with and for him.
Somebody out there reading this is sending someone off for the first time to kindergarten and you can’t fathom how long it will take before you are packing one off to their senior year of high school or college. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t take any time at all. So, make the most of every day!
Pardon my lack of biblical teaching these last couple of days. Hopefully what I’ve shared today, especially, will prompt you to be thankful for the calling of parenthood even more.
Come back tomorrow. I plan to share some things from a sermon at our church in Highlands. Although the message was to students, I got so much out of it for myself, and was given a much-needed dose on finishing this parenting school children race well.
Whether you are a grandparent, parent, or neither, I hope you’ll come back tomorrow. Until then, hug yourselves.