Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A "Letting Go" Moment...(or Few Days)

I remember when my son was born and we brought him home from the hospital. We had him in a little bassinet next to our bed for the first weeks. We lived in a little one bedroom garage apartment (we were still in school). It was actually pretty good size for a one-bedroom (approx. 800 sq. ft). We decided not to move when we found out we were having a baby. There were two nice sized walk in closets, one in the bathroom and the other one in the living room. After much measuring and brainstorming, we made the closet in the living room into a "nursery." His crib and a little dresser fit perfectly. I put up a Noah's Ark border and tried to make it cute. I know it sounds weird and we laughed a lot about it, but it worked out quite well and saved us a lot of money and trouble. We loved that apartment and were able to stay another year (until we finished school and moved out of town).

As he began to look a little cramped in the bassinet, we knew it was time to move him out of our room and into the "nursery" across the hall. The door to the closet was probably only 6 ft. from the door of our bedroom, but it was a hard move for me. I cried. I remember saying to my hubby that day that the "letting go" started early. (I'm sure he wanted to laugh at me, but he showed great restraint and was very understanding.) It struck me with great force that from the minute they cut that umbilical cord the rest of our relationship would be a series of "letting go" moments. In that moment, I saw them all stretched out before me.

This week is one of those moments for our family. We sent both of our kids off to camp yesterday. We all did surprisingly well. I didn't really cry, although it wouldn't have taken much to push me over the edge. My son didn't seem anxious at all about leaving, he hugged me quickly and jumped in the truck with his buddies staying as "cool" as possible. My daughter (who I thought would fall apart) gave us several hugs, but went about "helping" another girl who was crying and struggling with leaving her mom. I was so proud of her. Although I know she was feeling uneasy herself, she just went over and held the girls' hand and made sure they had seats together in the van. They know each other, but not well. I am willing to bet they come back as fast friends.

They are only going to be gone a few days, but it is the first time in all these years that our house is so quiet for this many days. It's just hubby & me again :). It is eerily quiet here this morning. It's nice and awful at the same time. I miss them but I am excited about what I know will be an awesome time for them.

Hubby was off work yesterday, so we (wow, just the two of us!) enjoyed our day and evening very much, but it did seem very odd. No one was complaining when we spent an hour in the book store - JUST LOOKING. We finished sentences. We didn't have to worry about getting home and relieving and PAYING a babysitter.

It's much like that day we put our son in his "closet nursery." It's another step toward their independence. It is good (even fun) for hubby & I and healthy for our relationship, and it is good (and fun) for the kids.

Now I just have to spend this morning putting my house back together after tearing it apart getting them ready to leave!! They'll be back with piles of laundry in just a few days reminding me that it this is just another SMALL "letting go" and we have many more to go.


At July 25, 2006 7:22 AM, Blogger pajamarama said...

I'm glad they did so well. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time, isn't it? I hope they have a great time at camp, and don't come back with too much dirty laundry... hmmmmmm maybe now is the time to teach those laundry washing skills.....??????? ;)

At July 25, 2006 7:41 AM, Blogger Gina said...

Exactly. We've been working on laundry skills some, but I'm not consistent enough at having them do it!!

At July 28, 2006 1:06 AM, Blogger Alyx said...

With eight biological kids and many other fosters and "adopteds", my life has been mostly "letting go moments". Bittersweet, but the sweet is worth the bitter, eh?

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At October 06, 2006 9:19 PM, Blogger 5 Johnson Kids said...

Hey Gina, I remember that apartment with such vivid and fond memories. I remember where Luke slept, and I remember the phone call from Moscow when Luke was born. Who'd have thought these little babies would grow up? So fast?

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