Sunday, August 9, 2015

Letting Go

All my chicks are home!   Shad had a great time at Nationals, especially since his group won 3rd place in the nation.  They had a nice condo to stay in with lots of pools and got to spend some time at the Orlando attractions too.  But he has said over and over that he was glad to get home:)  That just warmed my heart.  We missed him and all of us felt incomplete without him here. 

Of course in less than a week Steve is leaving for college.  Honestly I'm not sure how Shad or Sam will handle it.  Shad and Steve have grown so close in the past couple of years.  It's funny to see them go out together, big, bearded Steve and little Asian Shad... more than once people have thought that Steve was Shad's daddy.  They go to movies together, theme parks, kayaking and out to eat.  Steve has been able to give Shad a chance to do things without all the little kids going along. Shad adores Steve.

And Sam.....he'll go and sit in Steve's room and play while Steve is watching tv or playing video games.  He goes to Steve for comfort and there are times only Steve can make him happy.  The ONLY word outside of Mama Daddy and No that Sam has ever said was "Steve".   He doesn't say it consistently but has said it before.   He also adores Steve. 

Those boys are going to be a mess. 

And then there is me!  Steve is more than a son to me, he is also my close friend.  Oh don't get me wrong I can yell at him but we are close.  We fuss at each other then five minutes later we're over it and going out to eat pizza :)   (Actually I probably will lose weight with him gone!) 

Steve was the glue that held Jon and me together at one point in our marriage.  There's a formal  picture of the three of us, with Steve in the middle holding both of our hands.  It's so symbolic, I don't like the picture but Jon does.  It reminds me of a rough time in our lives.  But it is true, our love for our son held us together through some hard times. 

Steve grew up when Sam was born.  He was 8.5 years old and went from being an only child to having a baby brother with extreme special needs.  His "new" normal became me picking him up from school and going back to the hospital.  He did his homework in a little lobby off the NICU.    From the beginning, Steve was amazing.  Not once did he complain or grumble, he always treated everything as an adventure.  He handled things amazingly well.  At the time we were just walking through such a all consuming valley, we didn't even realize how well he was doing.  Looking back, it's almost unbelievable how Steve just "rolled with the punches"

He had so much change during that time.  We moved twice, his dad began pastoring and we adopted Shad.   Again Steve stepped up to the plate.  The only time he got really down was when we moved from the house we'd leased for years to the prison.  He and I cried together about it.   BUT to be honest, he did have some bonding issues with Shad.  Shad was a two and a half year old who drove Steve crazy and vice versa.....   There were a few years of sibling rivalry!!   But as Shad grew older, they began to relay on each other and now they are very close.

During the girls adoption and our time in Ukraine, Steve was wonderful.  He had a good time but also gained many new experiences.  He handled himself great during that whole trip. 

When the accident happened, Steve was only 16 years old!  The day of the accident, he was at the Ronald McDonald House with Shad and Sarah.  No one was sure of what was going on, there were police, tv stations/reports/helicopters, EMS, Fire, and tons of on lookers.  Steve took charge of the kids, not knowing what was actually happening.  For several hours, he thought Jon, Sam and Selah had all been killed.  The staff of the RMH told us that he stayed calm and took great care of the kids.  He didn't upset Shad or get off schedule with Sarah.  When I finally could get back to them, he handled the news with grace and understanding beyond his years.  To this day I feel bad that I didn't get back to him quickly but I just didn't think about it. 

The past three years, he has been a rock.  He and Shad gave up their room and slept on the floor of the little kids' room until June when we moved to our new home.  He never once complained.  He's helped out so many times in so many different ways. 

I appreciate all of that, but when I'll miss the most is just sharing the day to day life with my son.  I miss saying good night to him, and having all my chicks under the same roof.  I enjoy Steve. 

He's not going far, just 45 minutes away but this is the start of the letting go process.

So we drop him off on Saturday, the funny thing is I have to pick him up on the following Wednesday and he'll spend the night at home so he can go to an early ortho appointment.  Boy I was so glad when they made that appointment LOL!!!!!   He'll be coming home some weekends and of course we can pop over and have lunch with him.  But it is still going to be different. 

Many of my friends will be sending their kids off to college this year, in fact some of them are sending them off to the same college as we are. Some are coming from great distances and won't see their families until Christmas break.  I keep reminding myself that it's not far and to stay strong and not to be a cry baby.

And Jon?  At first he "poo-pooed" my feelings....but the other night he broke down crying when I had some Halloween stuff out.  He said it reminded him of all the things we've shared over the years with Steve.  Now he is afraid he's going to boo-hoo the worse next week.   

Bittersweet is the only word for it.  We are proud of the boy we raised.  We love that he is going to our Alma Mater, we know he's going to have wonderful adventures and will grow in many ways.   In fact, I'm quite jealous of the adventures he'll have.  College was so fun to me.  I want him to have all of that but I want him with us too LOL!!!!!!  When Steve was the most tentative about going to college I was very much in favor of him going, now that the reality is just days away it's a bit harder.  But I feel like he has made a good decision.  We let him make the decision whether to go to SEU, continue at the community college, begin a career in law enforcement....all had positives and all had negatives.  We felt we could support him 100% whichever decision he made.   We didn't rush him or try and interfere, it's been interesting to watch him make the decision for himself. 

So pray for this little family that we won't grieve too much!  I did tell him that I was going to enjoy his room, tv etc......LOL  Sometimes my husband snores way too much!   I have to think of the positives like having my own escape room :) 

He has some fears/reservations, but I think he will do just fine and have a great time.  I feel like he's been preparing for this moment all his life.  PLEASE pray for his finances.  He has a grant and a few scholarships that covers about half of his tuition.  He will be working but even with that, there is no way for him to make enough to cover everything.  He is eligible for loans, but we are hoping he won't have to go that route.  He's been so faithful for all these years, I just feel like God will make a way for him. 

BTW, his major is Broadcasting. He has an amazing, rich and deep voice.  We joke around about his doing voice commercials.  He is interested in many aspects of broadcasting/media mostly behind the scenes.  He already has registered for classes and is taking some interesting ones.  I'm even jealous about the classes, I loved going to class. 

My how times have changed, we waited in long lines to register for classes.  In fact I know a couple that met in line their freshman year, and got married when they graduated and are still married LOL.  I told him the story and said that doing it all by computer just cut that chance out for him :) 

Well we have a busy week coming up.  Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to hit the ground running tomorrow.  Personally I may pull the covers up over my head!

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