I wish I had time to put pen to paper last week, but if I had I might have cried. Life’s been like that lately, everything tugging on the heart strings, all good things, but apparently, I’m a crier so watch out. Last week, my middle guy, my heart and soul, my former shadow at clinger status until about age 5 went on a 3 day, 2 night field trip. Yes, my other 2 kids and my husband were home, but man was my heart lonely! I’ll only brag on this boy for a moment, but truly, he is all heart. Born with natural empathy for others(which many people need to be taught), he is kind, caring, compassionate, and responsible. He is my only boy who ever asks if I need help with anything, my only boy who does his chores without being asked(most of the time), my only boy who wants to know what’s for dinner at breakfast time, my only boy who can and will help with any and all things kitchen/food related. My boy. And now he has gone and grown up on me, reminding me that he is indeed almost 13. I think back over the years that I couldn’t even leave him in the church nursery because he would cry, and now I drop him off for a 3 day field trip and he won’t even kiss me goodbye. I know this is the natural order of things. This is the way life is supposed to happen. They are supposed to develop these wings so they can start preparing to fly on their own someday, but I never thought someday would come so soon. I never thought I would go from wanting alone time for just 5 minutes more than anything in the world to being lonely because all those years that I had some real clingers, they were learning security and becoming confident. If only I knew what was happening. But would that have changed anything? Probably not. Hindsight is 20/20. When my babies were babies and everyone said it would go by fast, I didn’t believe them. The days were endless!! The days were like pouring water into a bucket with no bottom. Sometimes those days would stretch into the night and pour right into the next day and I was so tired I didn’t even know which way was up. But when God was growing those boys he was growing me too and preparing me for this next stage of life. Yesterday at 7 am as Evan and I drove to Rhode Island for a 9:05 basketball game and he wanted to nap more than he wanted to talk to me, I thanked God that I was able to take him to his game. After we left the Wendy’s drive thru, he thanked me. I asked him for what, because I didn’t buy him breakfast, his gift card did. He told me, “thank you for driving me to basketball.” I told him that I love taking him to his games and watching him play. It truly brings me so much joy. But all those years ago, I couldn’t picture it because my heart and my brain were so riddled with anxiety that I couldn’t see past the day I was in and even that was too much. During my adrenal crash, driving gave me panic attacks, so I just stopped. I got to a place where I had to push myself to drive places close to home, church, the library, etc. So now when I’m in the car taking Evan an hour away to Rhode Island, I have to thank God for the work he did on me, for healing my adrenals, teaching me how to handle anxiety and deal with stress, for growing me and stretching me. And I thank God daily for these boys he entrusted to my care. I can say all day long that they are mine, they came from my belly and I have the scar to prove it. The truth here is they are His. But what a joy, honor, and privilege to raise them and watch them grow. Even when it is hard. Even when they hurt. Even when they fail. Even when they succeed. Even when they screw up. Even when they are sick. Even when they make me angry. Even when they don’t kiss me goodbye. Even when they are teenagers. It’s all so weird, because it’s not like I love them any more or any less than the day they were born, but I just know them differently now, and my heart could just burst at the amount I love them.

Long story short, he’s almost 13, so I still didn’t get as many details as I would have liked about the fieldtrip. The food was great, the showers were terrible, his best friend woke him by throwing a sandal at his head… Did he have a great time? Absolutely! Did we both survive 3 days apart? Definitely. Are we ready to do it again? Him-probably. Me-not so much. But until then, I’ll let God work on preparing my heart for the next adventure and for growing Evan’s wings bigger and stronger.