The time has come to push my oldest out of the nest. He is graduating from high school on the 27th of this month, and, not to sound clichÈ, I can't believe it. Where has the time gone? I get teary-eyed if I think about too deeply or too long. This is one of those transitions that changes things; changes things for good. The summer will whip by quickly and he'll be off to college.
I find myself gazing in the distance, not particularly focused on anything, reminiscing about his childhood, and hoping that I've been a good mom. I think I have been, I'm just praying that some of it stuck, and wondering if I could have done more or done it better. No point in wallowing in it, though, because there's not a thing I can do to go back and change it. So, with that I want to remember some of the cute times, the connected times, and fun times.
When he was about three-years-old, we would be in the car and he would call from the backseat to his daddy. Thinking of other things, his dad wouldn't answer him. So he'd call him again, with no answer. Finally, I would ask him what he needed, and he would quickly respond, "I'm talkin' to my daddy." This is the same child who would finish my count when I would threaten to count to three, expecting him to get something done. I would count, "One.two." And he would say, "Three," in his sweet little voice, with a smirky smile and cut eyes. Now, even at age 18, I can still count to three and get him moving!
I've always been able to have great conversations with Conner. We talk about everything, including history, politics, South Carolina, ways to handle situations, family and ancestry, attitudes, morals, and why things are right or wrong. I know for sure that one thing I did right was make sure that my family-all four of us-sat down together at the dinner table almost every night. Not in the den, not with the television on, just at the table with time to talk, laugh, and eat.
As most mothers do, I taught Conner to look both ways before crossing the street. I think this is one of those rules that can apply anytime you're stopped at one of life's crossroads. The rule is elementary: stop, and look both ways. In other words, don't move forward until you have examined both sides of a situation. Then with a satisfied, clear mind, move ahead.
One afternoon, I had the children each write the word "can't" on a sheet of paper. I had heard "can't" come out of their mouths too many times. So we took their paper, got shovels from the garage, went to the yard, dug holes, and buried those "can'ts". As I brushed the dirt from my hands, I said, "Now you can!"
Over the years we have laughed a lot. I think that's what I'll miss most. Conner and I have the same sense of humor, although my daughter, Jacie, has her moments, too. Recently, Conner was away for a few days, and as Dana, my husband, Jacie, and I sat down at the table for dinner, it was really quiet. My heart sank a little, because I realized that my Boo-man, who has been by my side for 18 years, will be leaving soon. It makes me sad to close this chapter; it's been so rewarding. I never found an age when I didn't adore my little buddy.
Well, we must have done something right, because I'm so proud of the young man Conner has become. We're all going to be fine. All moms go through this..right? I keep telling myself that this phase is a natural transition of life. It reminds me of a quote by Apollinaire that truly moves me: "Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew."
We're both sitting on that edge about to get pushed. Are you ready, Conner.let's fly!
Jacie's Peanut Butter and Jelly Project Update
Jars of peanut butter and jelly have steadily and graciously been delivered to our office and to the dropbox at Hilton Head Christian Academy. So far, we have delivered 54 jars of peanut butter and 38 jars of jelly to the Church of the Cross Food Bank Mission. Amazingly, we've even had tourists come by the office to donate PB&J. Please keep the donations coming. The Food Bank is every week and year-round. I've gotten into the habit of picking up an extra peanut butter and jelly each week at the grocery store. It's not that much extra money, and it truly is a blessing for so many right here in our own community.
Dropoffs: Pink Magazine-37 New Orleans Rd., HHI (Orleans Plaza)
Hilton Head Christian Academy-55 Gardner Rd, HHI.