There are sometimes events in life that come along and leave me overflowing with conflicted emotions.  Tomorrow is the onset of such an event.  My fourteen year old son (Chase) is leaving for Outward Bound.  For twenty-one days we will have absolutely zero contact with him.  Since the day he was born there have never been more than forty-eight hours where I did not at least speak with him.  My trip to Serbia in May was the first time I have ever spent more than three days away from my children.

Today, my husband cleaned out his backpack and in the process pulled out a picture of Chase when he was only about three years old.  He laid it on the table in front of me and the waterworks began.  I sat at my kitchen table with that picture in my hand looking like a blubbering fool.  What happened?  Where did the time go?  How did the smiliest toddler boy who ever existed, turn into a teenager who argues with his parents and has a hairy upper lip?

My emotions for the last twenty-four hours have ranged from sadness to pride to excitement over his adventure to anger over a whole list of things.  It’s that last emotion that’s been kicking my butt.  I have found fault with everyone in the house.  In retrospect I’m sure it’s just been an attempt to hide how horribly sad I am over the fact that Chase will be gone for so long, but that doesn’t make my outbursts at all the people who share my house excusable.  Of course, the fact that I can’t find a single clutter-free spot in the house in which to have a little solitude should excuse just about any yelling I’ve done.  Am I alone in this boat?  It’s summer-time.  The kids are home.  The hubby is on leave this week.  I have left twice to go pick up last minute items for Chase’s trip and I’ve returned each time to find nothing cleaned up and everyone sitting in a comfy spot engaged with electronics.  Grrrrrrr (that’s my blog rendition of a growl).

So tonight, after everyone was safely tucked in bed (Safe from Mama’s angry outbursts.), I sat down to sort through email.  There was a newsletter from the youth group at our church in my inbox, and in that message was a link to an article.  It’s G.O.O.D. Check it out.  perfect-parents

Tomorrow I will put my boy on a plane and cry over the conflicted expectations I have for him over the next three weeks.  I’m excited for all the possibilities he will have for maturing and experiencing adventure and I’m hoping that he doesn’t grow up so much that he has no resemblance left of the smiley little boy in the picture.

5 thoughts on “smiley

  1. Brandy

    You and Chad have raised a fine young man, please tell Chase to have a wonderful time and keep us updated! We love you all!!!

  2. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for putting that link to the Perfect Parent Blog… I REALLY needed it, after reading another woman’s Blog where she portrayed her relationship with her kids as ‘perfect’ and I was left questioning my every move, convinced I was the anti-thesis of her! Also, rest assured as I look out my window at your daughter playing with my son on the playground, and him so thoroughly enraptured by her, that you definitely are doing MANY things right!

  3. Cinnamon

    I have been silently following you for quite a while now–Your post today really struck a chord with me. My 16yr old is currently in Louisville Ky for the Nazarene Youth Conference-While I am thrilled for him-it just reminds me how fast time does fly and soon he will be gone….

  4. Only 3 days away from your kids in all these years? That explains a lot! (just teasing!) This past year, thanks to a few hops to Serbia, I’ve spent a total of 10 weeks (as in T.E.N, and all in 2-3 week stints) away from my family. All of my family. It was brutal. I don’t want to leave them behind again.

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