The college boy is finished with school, but not quite ready to come home. He’s run off with his friends for the week and will grace us with his royal presence beginning on Monday. Of course I’ll take all the scraps he is willing to offer us. The thought of having all seven of us home for two weeks is a treasure. I don’t think any earthly gift I could receive exceeds what that means to me.
What’s really difficult to imagine is that next year Jordan will be away at college too. There will only be three kids in our home. I’ve decided it won’t feel right. When Jordan received the acceptance letter to one of the colleges he prefers he was overcome with relief. It was suddenly a reality, he was going to go away to college. And he is ready. The next thing I hear him complain about is how high schoolers are so annoying and he’s interested in being in classrooms of students who are interested in learning the material. He’s been flipping through photo albums of himself growing up in our family and realizing how fast it all went. The truth that he will soon be taking care of himself is sinking in and he’s fired up about it. I’ve done this before, but it doesn’t make it any easier to feel my nest unload. My chest sinks and my chin quivers.
He and I are close. We share our time together because he works in the afternoons for Kirabo Seeds. He’s wonderful with helping me do the car pooling as well. His ultra conservative views and silly sense of humor make for much fun in our home. He’s so fashionable, it’s nice to see him always looking good as opposed to the gym shorts and old tshirts his brothers prefer. There’s going to be an awful hole when he leaves.
Kevin and Jack are clamoring to have his bedroom. They have shared a bedroom all their lives (the poor pitiful things) and now there’s opportunity for them to have their own room. I did it to Donny when he left. Jordan moved into the college boy’s bed and didn’t bat an eye. He said, “my room now”. I’ve teased Jack and Kevin by telling them we are going to turn Jordan’s room into a playroom for Kira, or a movie theater to feature princess movies and decorate it like a castle. They don’t think I am funny.
Next year dinners are not going to feel right at all with only three children at the table. Kevin will be a sophomore in high school, if he is ever home now that he is on the tennis team and auditioning for every play the high school offers, including musicals. I think it took courage to audition for Legally Blonde considering he’s never had a voice lesson or dance class. But he got a part! We don’t see much of Kevin. Jack will be going back to middle school next year and it will depress me to release him to the grip of the system again. He’s ready to go but he says this year of homeschooling has been the best year of his life so far! Wait til he hears I’m taking him to Africa. I might go see the gorillas with him. That will punctuate his year for sure. It will at least be a lifetime highlight for me, and to share it with him will be my great treasure. And finally little miss Kira will be in preschool four days a week. She loves school now so it will be good for her to have more social time with children her age.
Craig and I are still stunned to see it all pass so quickly. We collapse exhausted onto our pillows every night because our lives are jam packed full. When we step apart from the busyness of it all and see the progress we feel like patting eachother and saying “well done!” but also “how could this be?” It’s the bittersweet realization that the goal of parenting is to let them go.
The sweet spot for us is that we have made it a choice throughout our entire marriage to take a date together every Friday night. Both of us can’t wait to have our alone time, have some fun, connect, and enjoy eachother’s company as two people rather than a family. We have been growing our marriage along with growing our family all these years so that when we find ourselves alone we will turn that Friday night date into an every day deal. It won’t be so shocking. But considering Kira is not yet three, we have a long long time before our nest is empty. She is going to keep us hopping I can already see that. She’ll either age us swiftly or keep us young. I guess the choice is mine. I think I’ll choose to keep up with her. And if Craig acts like he’drather be an old fuddy duddy I’ll drag him along if I have to. He’s used to that.