tcu

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. 💓

Oh, the places you'll go!

We all know and love the Dr. Seuss classic with that title. The book usually appears on a prominent table at a bookstore near the end of the school year because it is a popular gift for graduates. Our home has two or three copies floating around that were given on such an occasion.

But maybe the giver should have explained to our son, James, that Dr. Seuss' immortal push

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”

was not an immediate call to action! As I write this blog, our youngest child is strolling the beaches of Barcelona and sampling paella. Last weekend, he soaked his tired feet in the natural hot springs of Budapest. And the week prior, he logged 15 miles in one day exploring the streets of Rome. James is taking his semester abroad very seriously...

All kidding aside, we are thrilled that he is having the experiences of a lifetime. Of course, it was not easy for Momma to let him go halfway around the world. It's a scary thing for me (as you can see by my not-so-excited face in the first image.) Thankfully, technology allows us to stay in touch to ease my fears and he has been very communicative. Also, TCU sent 35 students to the Rome program so he is not alone; his week days feel much like his time on campus in Ft. Worth...with the exception that he walks past centuries old monuments and on ancient streets to get to class!

Being his mother's son, he loves to eat good food and guess what? He writes. If you would like to read some of the musings from his trip, check out his blog. His photography skills exceed any in the family and his voice is young but detailed. Our family is really enjoying keeping up with his travels in this way. 

His father and I truly feel an immense amount of joy that we can send him on this journey. From our meager beginnings in a little apartment to having a son in Europe for 4 months is a huge leap and we are humbled by God's blessings.

Purple's not really my color...

chocolate peanut butter stacks pie
So my youngest finally made his college decision – he’ll be putting on his ropers and boot-scootin’ it over to Ft. Worth to join the TCU Horned Frog family!  We are very happy for him and know the school is a good fit.  His sister had a great time (maybe a little too much fun?) there and he has always felt the tug (sibling pressure?) to don the purple himself.  Admittedly, I am happy he will be just 45 minutes away.  Honestly, my biggest emotion this week is relief! With the decision made, it’s just one more thing off the ever growing list of things to accomplish over the coming 6 months.  Up next for this guy: register for classes, attend Frog Camp, sign up for rush, find a dormmate. For me: plan a graduation party, book a summer vacation, find a mother-of-the-bride dress, pack my son off for college, make some more wedding decisions, secure lodging for our family at this ever-growing destination wedding, not have a nervous breakdown.  Wish I could trade lists with him…

This week’s menu features all of my son’s favorites. Of all of my pot pies, the Beef Pot Roast is his absolute choice—I need to make him one this week. He has been a pasta boy since the very beginning and he LOVES meatballs. Caesar salad was the first green salad he enjoyed, thanks in part to the croutons! When we go out to eat, if he feels like soup, it’s always, always French Onion. And the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is the one dessert he will hide from his siblings when they are home for holidays…and he’s not usually a selfish guy!  Hope you find something on the menu to make your favorite.  Have a great week! 2015 Menu for Apr 27