Thursday, August 22, 2013

And So It Begins.....

And so it begins....

Today is Sarah's first day of doing cross country in high school.  I think I am more nervous than she is!  You would think this wouldn't be hard at all since I've already had practice doing the first day of high school sports with my three oldest!

It's a little different sending your baby girl!

I know she is ready to spread her wings in a school that is a lot larger and offers more opportunities than middle school.

I'm just not sure I'm ready!

This is also a momentous day for Mike!  He will be heading to Assumption for orientation this afternoon.  He seems more excited than nervous...which is good.  In less than 2 weeks, we will be helping him move into apartment style living on campus a little over an hour way from home with 5 other young men he has not met.

I have to say that I am ready for this step!  I feel sad that my oldest is taking his first leap out of the nest, but the last few months have been filled with angst and a lot of ups and downs that we all need a break from.  He needs an atmosphere with other young adults and some time to grow up by being more independent..(and hopefully being away will help him realize just how much his family cares for him and does for him!).

Big changes this fall in our home and they all start today!

I was laying in bed last night waiting for sleep to come after a "cat nap" I took waiting for Andrew to come home left me looking at the clock at 12:15!  Somehow my thoughts drifted to the word 'vulnerable' and memories flashed in my mind of the very end of my pregnancy with Mike.  I was a newly married, 18 year old college student.  My water had broken on a Friday night but no contractions followed.  A day of pitocin on Saturday yielded no real change, so the doctors shut it off to let me try and get a good night's sleep so we could try again on Sunday morning.

I was exhausted from getting almost no sleep on Friday night because I had so much nervous energy.  I was emotionally exhausted from going through labor pains with no result all day.  I fell right to sleep but woke up an hour later because my iv tube had gotten detached and blood was seeping out all over the place.  The very nice nurse came in and fixed it then helped me change into a clean hospital gown.

It was a dimly lit hospital room in the middle of winter.  (It actually snowed a little that night.)   My body was weary, so heavy and round with a full term pregnancy.  Switching into a new hospital gown in the dimly lit room was such a vulnerable moment.  That image is etched in my mind.

The next day's induction worked and our  7lbs. 6oz son finally came into the world at 2:52pm.

It struck me that his step into college life has been as difficult as his separation from his first home in my womb.

As Mike forges a new path in a world where our influence becomes less and less and he is left to make choices on his own, it's hard as a parent to know when to let go and when to continue to help.  I don't think these young adults know themselves....they want independence but not necessarily all the responsibilities that go with it!

As luck would have it...(insert eye roll here)...just this morning Mike gave me a great example of this very topic.  He was getting ready for the drive for Assumption when I left with Ellie and Kate for Ellie's 30 minute orthodontist appointment about 5 minutes away. Ten minutes into the appointment, Mike calls because he can't find the paper with the courses he needed to sign up for.  Because he is a transfer student, and doesn't want to go longer than his final 2 years to graduate, his schedule has to be very specific.  Certain courses need to be taken in a certain order, and someone from the education department at Assumption had written it all out for him.  (Almost everyone I have talked to so far at Assumption is super helpful!)

Of course, he did wait until the last minute to try and find it.  His anxiety and frustration was escalating...which rubbed off on Peter, who I had left home with Andrew.  That resulted in an aggressive outburst from Peter that really upset Andrew.

Ugh...and I was only gone about 40 minutes!   Soooooo frustrating!

Somehow Mike missed the email I told him to search for in my inbox.  It took me about 30 seconds to locate it and then text him the info.

The effects of his behavior took more than 30 seconds to fix, though!

I know that change is never easy.  I also know that with all the changes happening here over the next 2 weeks, we are definitely in for some bumpy times.

As I said yesterday, I just need to focus on....

"Just keep swimming..."

Then there's that saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!".   Oy!