18 Years Old…Round 2

It happened again!

You may be asking what happened again.

Well, I blinked my eyes and another one of my children crossed the threshold into adulthood.

Yep! On August 17th, son #2 (Mr D) turned 18.

I wrote about this second blessing of mine when he turned 15 (you can read that post here). I love having these posts that I consider love letters to my children (you may recall I have one actually titled as such: Love letter to my daughter).

As I reread the words of the post to Mr. D, one area that stood out was this:

Today, a day older. Today, a day closer to a man. My motherโ€™s heart is overwhelmed. Always my children. Always my loves. But always growing closer to the day when they will venture out on their own.

Thatโ€™s what this is about though.

This circle of life.
Loving them.
Growing them.
Sending them.

And this ending fact has been ever-present in these past three months.

Mr. D moved right after graduation.

Hours and hours and states away.

I have seen him in those three months, but not on his birthday. And I will tell you that as a mother, it was so hard. I talked to him and I had sent a card (in which, interestingly enough and completely unknown to me until I sat to write this post, I closed with the same line from Robert Munschโ€™s book that the post above closes with).

Top: Moving Day
Bottom: Graduation Day

But it wasn’t the same.

My heart still aches that he isn’t in the room upstairs. I guess that’s why I haven’t sat to write this post before today. The ache is tender and fresh and I’m still settling into this new normal way. This way in which a piece of your heart has wandered off to spread its wings.

My boys are only 18 months apart, so I have written about my first moment of becoming the mother of an adult. Big Mr. moved away for a bit so the moving out is not new for me, but the length of time is the new part for me. I didn’t leave my hometown until I was 30, and still, my mother’s heart ached when I left.

It reminded me of the slow release of motherhood. And while it was originally written for his brother, every part of the poem, Childhood Abandoned, holds true for Mr. D as well.

I am happy for Mr. D. I do love that he is on his adventure, forging his path and figuring it all out. These are the moments we’ve been journeying towards.

But they are bittersweet moments.

They are both the beauty and the chaos.

Let your light shine!


28 thoughts on “18 Years Old…Round 2

  1. Happy birthday to your son. I so remember when they left home and I felt horrible for about two weeks. Then I said, this is awesome.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. โ™ฅ

  2. I totally get it Amy. My daughter left 4 months ago (at the age of 24) to start graduate school in Chicago. she is happy, really really happy, with her decision. And, I am happy for her. But, this will be the first of her birthdays, and Thanksgiving where I will not see her. That part sucks!
    Of course they will grow up and go, but it is tough as a mom to deal with all of it โค๏ธ

    1. I’m glad that your daughter is happy (and best of luck with her schooling!), but yeah, the part about missing things for the first time does suck.
      We know that this is a part of life, but is sure is one of the hard parts of being a mom. <3

  3. I don’t know where you live, but I have a son who’s a freshman here in Miami and he wants so badly to go to school with kids like your son. I’m afraid to show him this because he might get even more frustrated. We have a Ms. D at home, which is part of the reason I clicked on your site. She will be 18 soon and I’m dreading it because she’s so fierce and so free. As challenging as she’s been, I will miss her so much when she leaves. I think the most important part of all of this is that Mr. D looks so happy or as my son would put it, so satisfied.

    1. We actually live in Roanoke, Virginia, but all three of my children were born in Naples, FL (and me as well). We lived there until Mr. D was almost 7. We moved to Virginia when he was entering 7th grade and had lived in Stuart, FL for the three years prior to that. It can be hard for them to find “their people”. I wish your son the best of luck with it. I’m sure it will be hard when Ms. D leaves. As a mother they hold so much of our heart, but we also know they need to spread their wings (one of the hardest parts for me). I hope that her transition away from home goes smoothly. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mr. D does seems to be satisfied, which makes it easier. The fact that he’s in Savannah and about to go through this hurricane (although we’re well versed in them from all our years in Florida) not so much. I hope that the storm doesn’t impact you all too much down in Miami.

  4. I can’t imagine how quiet our house is going to seem when the children move out (if they ever do!). Our 18 year old is making noises about wanting her own place, but she has no clue about the true cost of living at all ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. If they ever do is right!! Ha! Ha! Yes, I suppose it’ll be very quiet. I write this as the house has emptied of the youngest and my husband and the 19 year old is still asleep because this is his day off and it is very quiet. I don’t know how that’ll seem when it is quiet more often than not.
      I think it take quite a while for them to understand the true cost of living! The 19 year old has talked about moving out with a friend. We’ve encouraged saving up for a while so that they go into it from a position of financial strength. But I get it. They want their independence. The 18 year old lives with someone else’s parent so the true cost of living is not affecting him yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Our children’s rites of passage are also ours. There is that funny mixture of pride and sadness in watching them shed their child-ness and become adults. We don’t realize it at the time, but we’re growing too.

    Good luck to both you and your son as this new exciting chapter begins.

    1. That is so true, Joanne. We are growing as well as them during this process.

      Thank you! It is an exciting chapter. Made a little more exciting this week by the fact that he lives in Savannah and has this hurricane coming toward him. He lives with someone else’s parent though so we are staying informed on all sides of plans and preparations.

  6. It is bittersweet isn’t it. I had babies to have babies! Who knew they’d really grow up? Well, they did so I embraced it. There are exciting times ahead for him, and you! You’ll find your way and so will he.

    1. It truly is bittersweet. Who said they could grow up? lol. I am embracing this new phase and I’m sure he has so many exciting days ahead of him (I wish it didn’t include the hurricane heading his way in Savannah, but I am staying apprised of all plans cause I’m the mama. lol.). ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. A beautiful heading photo, Amy! The love letters to your children never grow old, even if the children grow older. Your quote is beautiful! They will always need your wisdom and unconditional love, sometimes even more as an adult. You have also prepared them to be independent. You are very right, Amy, โ€œbittersweet moments.โ€ Love the photos! Hugs:)

    1. Thank you, Erica! I love that photo of Mr. D at Natural Bridge in Aruba. I’m glad to have these love letters to them and I still love the ones I have from my mother and grandmother. Wisdom and unconditional love are wonderful things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My 3 kids are 24, 22 and 20 (on Tuesday). My daughter (the oldest) even has a kid on her own (turning 3 in a month). The older boy got married in April and the youngest starts working tomorrow. Our house becomes bigger every year. I enjoy the silence. But, itโ€™s nice seeing my daughter come here every weekend with her son and moving in in her old sleeping room for 2 or 3 days.
    Itโ€™s good seeing them all on a good way, but sometimes the chaos of the old days is missed

    1. Your three are spaced similarly to mine. Mine are 19,18, and 15. I do enjoy my silent moments, but still miss that chaos. It’s wonderful that you get to see your daughter and grandson so regularly. Our homes do become bigger over time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Aw, yeah, it’s a challenging time. Far is harder for sure. I wonder what I’ll feel like when my last hits the milestone of adulthood. I can’t fathom. Clearly, the kids coming back home is not my ideal, haha! BUT I really like that Bubba will move to the other side of town and not hours and hours away ๐Ÿ˜€ Like, I will see him regular and it will be good!

    1. Yes, far is hard. I wouldn’t mind the emptier house if I could still see them regularly. My last is so close to driving that it reminds me that she is marching toward adulthood. Eek! I’m sure it will be really nice when Bubba moves from the couch, but is still close enough for visits!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I was far away from him for several years. If he got the right job, I know he’d leave town for it, and so I intend to enjoy his local presence as long as I can ๐Ÿ˜€
        There’s something about the last one, the baby one, makes it realer. Remember how you felt when the baby one went to big kid school too? We’ll find out. I think at the same time, even.

      2. I do remember how it felt when baby when to big kid school too. It does make it all feel real. I do think we’ll be finding out what it is like at the same time.

  10. Aww, I am sure this is painful – I don’t have kids, but always empathize with friends in situations like this. He has the best hair, just like his mama! I am excited for him and all of the new adventures ahead of him. Also, I started a new blog – I’m jumping off the life bus. No longer living the same philosophy over there. I’d Love to stay in touch – it will be similar in content – super happy about it. Have fully landed on the page format, but almost there! It’s call I choose this! should show up in my avatar but just in case!

    1. It is definitely a hard transition, but one that I always knew would happen. His hair is great! I wish mine were the same color as his! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure he’s going to have a lot of adventures! I’ll be on the lookout for the new blog!!

  11. It’s hard not to feel pride as you watch your children grow and mature into amazing young adults. It’s also just plain hard. Both of my boys are now high schoolers this year. Where has the time gone? I can definitely understand your heartache.

    I hope your son had a wonderful birthday! It seems he is exactly one year and one day older than my older son. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. It’s definitely is a mix of hard and pride. It’s a wondrous journey to experience to be sure. Time does fly! My youngest is already in her second year of high school.

      He had to work on his birthday, but he got off earlier than expected so he was VERY happy about that. lol. Happy Belated Birthday to your son!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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