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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pulling off the Band-Aid

The other night I was walking a track around a soccer complex filled with intense youngsters wearing colorful uniforms and the most adorable, tiny cleats. As I watched pure exuberance chase soccer balls, my heart sang and stung just a little. Weren't those my kids just only a few short years ago?
watching them play is still fun

Last weekend we traversed (in our Traverse!) to Iowa City to enjoy the first football game of the season. The plans were to meet up with our good friends and catch a glimpse of our college-aged daughter. And a glimpse is all we got. She's a busy girl with a full course load, a job, and friends who do't go out until after 10 PM. Crazy kids.

I'm so proud of our kids who are focused and have goals. Alex will become a journalist tackling social issues. Cole will either be an MLS soccer player or something else. (He really is talking about the "something else" possibilities.) 

Sometimes it just hits me. My usefulness as a parent is waning fast.

I was expressing this sentiment to a recently-retired friend of my parents. This is how he responded:

I remember when we took Michael to Luther College in 2001. Everything I had read said to not prolong the "tearing" apart by lingering at college after getting him settled into his dorm. They told us that parents weekend was just six weeks away and a good time to linger. So, with an abruptness we took him, moved his stuff in said our good byes and departed. It was rough on me and I was full of tears in the car pulling away. It was not that I was first experiencing his independence that we trained him to have but the finality of it all that the corner actually turned. Since that date our times together are richer and better with time. A beer or glass of wine are not required to make this so but they are a compliment for part of the times we are now together.

Beautifully-worded, Chris Hoffmann.

an Iowa City party sans the daughter
Last night I was completely sacked out when my son came home after midnight. He had driven a carload of kids to Council Bluffs to see the movie. The kid just turned sixteen, and I don't even remember saying goodnight to him! According to Doug I said, "Home so early, Cole?" Bad mom? Nah. I'm a good mom who has a proclivity for deep sleep. As most mothers understand, deep sleep is typically not an option as your kids grow up. Maybe, just maybe I'm pulling off the band-aid. And you know what? I'm going to enjoy that deep sleep – and every other moment as it comes.

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