motherhood

The Last Dance

Our youngest graduates from college in three weeks. That’s 21 days. Approximately 504 hours. I am blown away by this impending milestone. It’s so cliche to say that these past four years went by so fast, but wow. I feel like we stepped into a time tunnel and warped our way to this point. I can see all of our experiences from this period in our lives—the parents’ weekends, football games, fraternity events, semester abroad, dorm life, spring breaks, internships, honors classes, baseball games, fun runs—along the walls of this weird time continuum funnel so I know I WAS THERE. And yet, it’s also a blur, one year blending into the next.

Because you see, this is our final parenting hurrah. Not that he’s needed much parenting lately…he is most definitely ready for adulthood. Last weekend we looked at apartments for his post-graduate move in August. We talked about amenities he’d like to have, proximity to his job, the perks of walkability to restaurants and shopping. I provided my opinion and suggestions but I am fully aware that I will not be making this choice for him. In the past, his father and I were funding all of his housing, so of course, we were heavily involved in the final decision. But for this move, it’s his call, and he is ready and able to make it.

On May 11, I think my husband and I will turn to each other tearfully and whisper- “we did it!” Our fourth chick has successfully completed higher education and is flying from the nest. It will be an emotional day; I am honored that God gave me the responsibility to raise, nurture and teach these amazing people when He made me their Mom. And I know, I’m still Mom. We’re in a different phase now—with Dad and I giving advice on taxes, career changes, breast feeding and meal planning for a growing family. However, that ultimate responsibility…when you are the final word on what’s best for your child, that time is over.

Last weekend, James’ fraternity hosted their mothers in Ft. Worth. One of the events was an hour of country dance lessons at Billy Bob’s. There’s always lots of laughter, some lips bitten in concentration, and a few injured toes. We had so much fun and as we took to the floor for the Cotton-eyed Joe, I felt it was a metaphor for my role as Mom. The last dance of the night, a few steps back, shuffling forward, hand in hand, but easily and more confidently with each step. And when the music speeds up, it’s just like time…moving faster and faster…so all you can do is laugh and try to keep up. 💓