We are a year away from our first child leaving the nest. I think about it often because I know how quickly that year will fly. And I do have mixed feelings about it, simultaneously excited and dreading it.

Of course, it will be years before our nest is truly empty, given the age spread of these kids. What will happen first is going from three to an only. Just three years until that becomes a reality. I know they’ll pass just as quickly as the coming year. Time speeds up when you want it to slow down so you can savor it.

I’m trying to savor these few days while the boys are gone. They have lamented the lack of vacation this year. For many years, they were gone most of the summer, visiting their grandparents in other states. The older the boys get, the less time they have for traveling. This summer, they’ve been home the entire time.

It finally dawned on me last week that there was no reason I had to accompany them — or even drive. I mentioned to my older son that he and his brother should just go when his work schedule permitted. Lo and behold, he’s off from Sunday to Wednesday this week. Perfect. (It was only later that I realized that I never ran this idea past Honey. Whoops!)

This is new territory for us, the interstate drive. It’s one thing to watch your kids drive off to the store or cross-country practice. It’s another thing entirely to know they are on the road to a destination 4.5 hours away in another state. Have I told them everything they need to know? Do they have money? A map? Directions to their Grandma’s house? Is the cellphone charged? Can they get along with each other for the duration of the trip, since they can’t be in the same room 15 minutes without arguing?

I resisted the urge to call while they were en route, since they left hours before I got out of bed. By mid-day, when neither had called to say they’d made it, I fired off a text message to inquire about their whereabouts. My oldest quickly called to assure me they were safe and sound with family. And apologized for not calling sooner.

Good boy.

9 Replies to “Fledglings”

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I left home (for good) when I was 19. I drove all the way from Georgia to Kansas, straight thru. Although I had a map, I was going mostly on memory from the many times we had driven that same route before. I did have a friend go with me, and we had a BLAST. I’m sure your boys will be just fine.

    Of course, I might feel differently when my OWN kids want to do the same thing . . . šŸ˜‰

    Lis Garretts last blog post..Rainbow Connection

  2. Our oldest is also on the college trajectory. It is such a startling thing! We’re doing it in stages–she’s finishing up our homeschool requirements by taking courses through our city’s community college program–and so she heads DOWNTOWN each morning for classes at that particular campus–yikes! She’s thinking about a 4 year university many. many miles away–so I’m getting my mama heart ready–

  3. Your son sounds like a fine young man! It is indeed difficult to see them leave — oldest ones are hard, but when it came to the youngest, and last to head out (to Air Force Basic Training), it seemed like I’d never see him again — and a hole in my heart!!! I did finally “get over myself” and figured out how to deal with life as it became!

    Sarah Doyle

  4. I totally know how you feel!!!!!!! My oldest graduated high school in june, and then my daughter will be doing so next year.. AHH!

  5. Oh…the road trip. I’m glad they made it safe and sound…I never called my mom when I got somewhere, I’m sure she worried though, but we never called each other. Looking back I find that a bit strange really…

    sadiras last blog post..The Shoe Report…

  6. Yes, I too have a rising senior and have already had to deal with interstate driving, although not out of the state. It is a little nerve racking! And of course boys….. well, you know. You are right, we are going to blink and they will be gone off to school. My rational for letting him spread his wings a little more this year is that when he goes to school, he isn’t going to call and ask me can he drive to Myrtle Beach to go to a concert, etc. he will just go and I may or may not find out about it! Good Luck! It is going to be quite a year!

    greggmccormacs last blog post..Ben’s Christening

  7. I can’t even imagine there being a moment when my kid will be driving a car away from me. I can’t even really wrap my brain around the fact that he’s going to grow hair on his chest.

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