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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Trickle

They trickle out the door in the morning. The oldest leaves before there is light in the sky. The youngest steps to the curb and waits anxiously for the bus 45 minutes later. The middle sits with me for a bit longer. She entertains me or stretches my patience. Usually it's a combination of both. 45 minutes pass, and she walks to the corner bus stop.

Every morning I watch them go. One by one they disappear. They travel to school where they live a life without me. They have friends and classes and conversations. They make choices. All on their own. Without me hovering to remind them, or even to demand that they make the right one.

On the surface, having all your children away at school is awesome. But at my soul-gripping, mother-loving core, it's hard. And also sad. Why? Because I worry. Will they remember who they are and guide their life accordingly? Will their self esteem get nicked again? Will they return to me safely? It goes on and on like this. Round and round it goes.

My trickle seems to be gaining speed. The oldest has only 4 more years until college. Even now, with all she is involved in, she is away more than she is planted here. I know that's normal, but when you look closely at that trickle, it can hurt your heart.

I've tried to find a way to slow it all down. The solution is elusive and slippery. Maybe it can't be caught. And maybe, there is nothing I can do to alter the trickle. Instead, I think I just may try to look at it more closely. To narrow my focus so that's all I see. Each. Individual. Child.

They trickled in to my life, slow and steady. They will eventually trickle away from home as well. But the path they leave behind them is mine to hold. So, for now I will watch the repetitious trickle. I will memorize it and catalog it's every joy. One by one. Every last bit.

1 comment :

Alesha said...

Oh my. That note touched my heart. Abby left for BYU and lives in Provo. Relatively close so we see each other often, but she IS gone. She leaves for China to teach English in August and will return in January. Avery is a busy little man and not home often - I feel the trickle, and some of the trickles are my tears.