It’s his last week home, college-man who’s grown up in what really was the blink of an eye. Really.

Yeah, and he’s really always gonna be my little boy, no matter how he towers over me.

One week left before he leaves for the next semester adventure and stops leaving his shoes and his stuff all over the place around here, and I wonder.

Wonder if I’ve made the very most of this summer. Wonder if I’ve soaked up enough of the wonder of him. Wonder if I did all that I could to make the most of all of these days.

And I wonder.

I wonder how many more summers he’ll be back here leaving his things all over the place. Wonder how many more slips of time I’ll get to slip in before he flies off and settles himself in his very own nest.

Wonder what that’ll feel like and what that’ll be like and whether I’ll miss the mess right along with missing him.

And you know it’s the hardest part of mothering, the hardest part of any parenting you’ll ever do, truly.

Harder than sleepless nights of babyhood, and harder even than sleepless nights of adolescence.

Harder than the first night he spends away from home, aching for him when he faces his first rejection, worrying and driving like an on-call limo service, picking up time after time after time the very same socks and shoes and harder even than dropping him off for the first semester.

Letting go is always the hardest part.

Yeah but who doesn’t sort of want to cling, hold on tight, keep what we know? Who doesn’t want to wrap it up and put a bow on it and maybe just keep what we’ve got here and now sort of, maybe, forever?

But of course we can’t.

And we know this. Of course we know this, despite the fact that when it comes time to up and let go we’re gonna kick our heels a bit and maybe even throw a bit of a tantrum inside, even if no one sees, because we don’t know what’s ahead and we really just wanna stay right here where it’s nice and warm and everything’s good.

And I wonder.

I wonder how many of us would elect to stay right there in the womb, if given the choice. Stay in the warm and the safe and the known.

Staying put always seems like the safest thing. Like the best thing.

But staying put, even in the safe and the warm and the known, won’t ever give us the fullest joy.

Staying where we are will never get us to the next better place, the next adventure, the next gift of grace that’s waiting to be unwrapped.

But it’s all just a bit scary, this letting go when you’re not quite knowing what’s really gonna happen. The thing is, though, real life sort of demands that you do let go and you do trust and you do step out into the unknown. Real living always means not really knowing but trusting anyway and moving forward anyway and holding on to whatever sort of faith you can summon anyway.

The way forward is always a surrender of what we know and love, in order to find the next grace-gift.

There will always be a next grace-gift.

And I wonder.

I wonder how this year will unfold. Wonder what sorts of trials will come (though I don’t wonder if they will, life being what it is and trials being part of it). I wonder how he’ll change after finishing three-quarters of a degree. Wonder what sorts of adventures he’ll have, what grace-gifts we’ll both unwrap in the next year.

I do know one thing, though.

The only way to find out is to go ahead and let go.

And so, forward we go.


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