Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Week of Lasts and Firsts

Tomorrow we carry Giles off to college. The week has been filled with lasts: last evening of cards with Grandpa, last golf game with the Composer, last set of photos for me, last dinner at home . . . .


Tomorrow the firsts begin as we drive this gorgeous, talented, helpful, obnoxious, mature baby off to a new home . . . and drive home without him . . . and become, for ten weeks at a time, a family with four children, not five. I can't imagine how that will feel.


Good thing Giles has a lovely set of thrifted gray and white dishes! And that I machine-embroidered his white towels to match. Because goodness how things would go for him without these goodies in hand.

"I have written to you, young [man], because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1 John 2:14)

42 comments:

Hill upon Hill said...

Oh, thoughts with you.....
a little achey heart, but joy in him too.....

Tracy said...

School's starting late isn't it?

I don't envy you, Anna. My eldest was away for 5 weeks this summer, and it was so very hard. I know he'll do well, and make you all proud.

Betty Beguiles said...

You will be in my prayers. What a bittersweet transition.

laurel said...

a lump caught in my throat, reading this. it is so hard to be a mother, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I think bittersweet is the word to describe what is about to happen to you and yours... In my experience it is incredibly hard to wave that last good-bye, but we know we have to push the little bird out of the nest (oh, wait! That's Felix, isn't it?) It is something that must be done and I'm confident all of you will do it well. Good luck, Giles - learn a lot and have fun!

JennyCash said...

Aww, Anna. Heart you :)

Rain said...

Bittersweet. My thoughts are with you. My day will come all too soon. My oldest is 13.

Sally said...

Having put two through college, I know how you are feeling. The most comforting thing for me during that time was the knowledge that though I wouldn't be going with them, God would...

Alicia said...

Oh, Anna, you really got me with the Scripture that you chose. A beautiful thought for your young man to carry with him.

AJH said...

Anna, I really enjoy reading you blog. My good friend and piano teacher sent me the link and I've been hooked ever since. I love the idea of living in a school house, and you make it such a wonderfully charming home. I am the second of seven homeschooled children, and I love to sew. But I *always* have to have a pattern. Maybe someday I will be as good as you. :)

Also, I love the way you describe Giles in this post!! That sounds like my older brother too!! He has just started his second year of college and it has been so much calmer than last year, because everything is not so new.

Thank you for haveing this lovely blog. Please enter me in your drawing too.

AJH

Jan said...

my heart aches

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

*thump* My heart is breaking, and I don't even know any of you!

What a precious, horrible, wonderful, aching, bittersweet moment.

God bless...

Davene said...

This reminded me so much of a passage from A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich. The main character, Abbie Deal, says to her granddaughter, "It hurts a mother, Laura, when the plates begin to be taken away one by one. First there are seven and then six and then five...and on down to a single plate."

We usually have seven (including my parents) around our table for supper, but I know the day will come when there will be fewer places set...and in a way, I already mourn that.

May you have the grace to walk peacefully and joyfully through this transition...as I'm sure you will!

Marlaine said...

It will be a year ago on Sunday that we made the same drive you will be making--taking to college our first child to leave the nest. It's an adjustment! Mealtimes with one less child around the table doesn't feel "normal". Yet, to know your child is where God wants them is such a comfort. My prayers are with you as you enter this new season of family life!

Susan said...

I see our little boy thorough your words in about 10 years. It goes by so quickly doesn't it? James Dobson had a great article on this subject not long ago. I believe it's still available in the archives.

Kali said...

reading this has brought a tear to my eye...bittersweet indeed.

jodi said...

You are not only sending him with dishes and towels (beautiful by the way) but with love and a secure foundation. Having just sent my youngest off and dealing with an empty of children house I understand some of what you are going through. But we, as parents, are lucky also. Computers and cell phones keep us connected to our children in a way that our parents could only dream of.

Anonymous said...

You and your husband have done what God has called you to do. You have taught him and now it's time for him to do the work that will glorify God through pictures.
My daughter left home a year ago and it was so hard and yet so good. I am seeing her grow in so many ways.
God is good....and He is faithful.
Kim E

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I am praying for you and your family as you leap into this next big step.
Giles will do beautifully at whatever he endeavors to do.
He has had wonderful role models!
Peace,
Lynne in NC

Bev said...

It never begins to feel good, having them gone, but a mother sometimes just needs to send a part of her along with them, to remind them of the love back at home, supporting them.

~Karen~ said...

You've given him the foundation he needs in his life, and I'm sure he will soar in his new venture!
Our oldest two have flown the nest, and as hard as it was, it is what we've worked towards all their lives. You've done well, Anna.

Polly said...

My oldest has been gone for about 4 weeks. It hurts, but it's so wonderful to see him again. Go ahead and cry - it's so strange to leave them alone in a far away place, and yet we're happy for them too

Mona said...

Dear Lady...Your Giles always has been and always will be in God's hands. Having sent my first three (of five) off, I know well the heart wrenching that you are going through. BUT he will be back, with friends, and your table will be fuller than ever, and you will be so proud of him! My prayers - with you and yours. Mona

Kate in NY said...

Anna, I've had a lump in my throat all week because I just sent my youngest "baby" off to - - - kindergarten! Many of my friends are elated to finally have some "time to themselves," but I feel a bit bereft. I've told my husband we need to adopt again (one of our 4 is adopted from Ethiopia) - - - my plan is to be sending my youngest off to college at the same time that I become a grandparent (and of course, that child will live down the street from me . . . ) Not that I am planning ahead or anything!

Lots of luck to you and your son during this exciting but bittersweet time.

Kate in NY

Laura said...

Fruit, Mama...
it's all fruit.
Giles is branching outward
from your tree.
...that your joy may be full.

Katherine said...

Miss Anna,

My prayer for you is Lamentations 3:21-23. God's compassions are new every morning! May all your firsts and lasts be covered in those compassions.

And a big welcome to Georgia for your son! I've lived in Atlanta most of my life and love every bit of Georgia that I've ever visited. One of my cousins went to SCAD and now he's an art teacher and artist painter on the side.

May your sad lasts be overshadowed by wonderful firsts.

Katherine

Pattie - Chicagoland, IL said...

We too are/were a family of five children. My oldest moved to his own apartment about three weeks ago. I hate it. I miss him. I am proud of him. You get it all when one leaves the nest.

Herbs and Me said...

I knew the time was coming soon...my sister just started college a few weeks ago.

You and your family will be in my prayers during this time of transition. I am sure he will have a lot of fun...and learn a few things too:)

Much Love,

Renee

Anonymous said...

How exciting for Giles! It is wonderful he has this opportunity to take his talent to the next level and beyond -- but pray tell who will be taking pictures for your blog while he is away?

amy said...

I can't imagine. Mine are 2 and 4 and it's a reminder to enjoy them all the more.

Allyson said...

I can't even imagine what that must feel like. Our daughter is only 16 months old and we have a baby boy due in just 5 weeks. I'm sure the time will fly by and all too soon I will understand what you're going through. We'll keep your family in our thoughts during this transition.

God Bless,
Allyson
www.a-heart4home.blogspot.com

gracelaced said...

what a significant time for you and your family. this is it...what the Lord has prepared him for.

Sarah said...

It's hard having them grow up! Last night my oldest lost his first tooth, and I cried. :) Every achievement is a step closer to moving out, and that's a hard thing for a mama to bear!

I'm praying for your entire family as you adjust to having him away. May the Lord keep you close and use this time to grow Giles into the man He wants him to become! Blessings to you all.

Amy said...

Yikes, what are you going to do with no Giles to take your photos?? Though I'm sure that's the least of your worries now. Thoughts and prayers with you that you will be able to focus on other things. :-)

ravengal said...

Beautiful, beautiful blog. All the best to Giles.

Elizabeth G. said...

You look too young to have a child that old. But you do have all my sympathy. Ugh. Being a mother and letting the chick fly from the nest is so very hard.

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday you were pushing him on a swing?

Elizabeth

Gina said...

May you be blessed, Anna, with emails and letters and lovely photos :)


May God bless Giles in his education.

pinkvictorian said...

Anna-
Do you know the poem "As Any Mother To The Savior" by Martha Snell Nicholson? It is a beautiful prayer written by a mother for a departing child in one of her flocked-covered vintage volumes which I have begun collecting.
You can read it in one of my August posts at thepinkvictorian.blogspot.com. Hope you are blessed by it.

melissa said...

Oh how awful and how wonderful all at the same time!! I pray your hearts will be protected at this time.

Susan L said...

Oh, I know how you are feeling. I've now had three of my four leave home, and it's hard every time. Such a mix of emotions.

You are such a good mother. I love the things you've done to leave your son in such a lovely way. And, if he's anything like my kids, you'll be hearing from him just about every day. :-)

My son is home now, but he'll leave this next week for his senior year of college. Even though this isn't his first time away, I'm going to miss him terribly, and I'm already collecting things he needs (and making spice packets for curry and little treats) to make it easier for me... I mean *him*... :-) when I say goodbye.

Blessings to you,
Susan

Linda said...

We know there are seasons in our lives - but change is sometimes hard. The wonderful thing I've learned is that the Lord always has blessings for us - even in the midst of change. They aren't the same, but they are good.
Praying, with you, God's hand of blessing and protection on his life.

Anonymous said...

Oh Anne. My heart breaks for you. I know he is going to love Savannah and you will too when you go to visit. May he come home and call you "Blessed" for all the training and love you have given him while he was in your care.

Carmen
www.xanga.com/camarige

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