Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye to my Little Boy

Vance age 4
I remember sending off my oldest to kindergarten and knowing that his world was about to be bigger than the four walls surrounding our home.  It was with a terrific amount of strength and faith that I sent him out in to the world, so to speak.  I knew that from here on out, my opinion wouldn’t always be the one he counted on, that the world was about to have its part in helping me raise my boy.
 
I have wondered and worried every new year as I sent him off on a new phase, if I taught him enough to be able to weather the storms of life with a sound knowledge of why he is here on this earth and what he needs to do to be successful in his journeys.  Every single one of my kids gets the same worries as they start a new school year or in his case, a new phase in his life. About every August I shed more than a few tears as I send my children off on their next new adventure; middle school, high school, college, full time employment, etc.

At the end of every one of those “firsts”  and most every day in between, my children came home to me.  I knew most of what had happened that day and we have been able to discuss strategies to cope with all those outside forces that pull us in different directions.  We have prayed together, studied our scriptures together, gone to church together, family vacations together, laughed and played together and even cried together.   I feel like I have been (along with their dad) the one steady in their life and that no matter what, at the end of the day, they would come home to someone who loved them and supported them.

That is all changing as my oldest son prepares to serve a mission.  This time, I will send him off into the world all alone.  He will not come home to me at the end of the day and ask for direction or understanding.  Never before has my faith in my motherhood been tested as it has been the last few months as I have watched him prepare.  Did I teach him correct principles?   Did I love him enough?  Did I teach him to be a hard enough worker?  Is his testimony of what he is about to embark on strong enough to get him through all the slammed doors and rejection he is about to face?  Is his foundation of gospel principles grounded enough to endure the endless amount of disappointment he may have to endure?  Will he ever come to a point where he is so discouraged that he begins to doubt his righteous endeavors?


The truth is, that I have absolute faith that his testimony is sure, that he knows he is a child of God, and that the work is is going to do is absolutely necessary.  I have absolute faith that the families he will bring the gospel to will be blessed to know that their families can be together forever, just like ours.  I have absolute faith that the Lord wouldn’t take my boy away from me for any other reason than to have him share the wonderful happiness that I have in being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and what it has brought to me…to us.   I have absolute faith that the little boy who walks out our front door in a few weeks will return in two short years as a man even stronger in his convictions of the truth with a love of the gospel more pure than I can imagine.

Someone once told me when he was small that I shouldn’t blink because if I do, he will be all grown up and I will wonder where the time went.  I don’t remember blinking, but at some point I did.

So, for the next two weeks, we will finish packing up his room.  I will take that one huge bin and hide it away somewhere that his siblings will never find; packed full of favorite t-shirts, music CD’s and other miscellaneous special items that he wants kept safe for the next two years.  I will send him to the doctor for a few more shots, we will run a few more errands together and gather those last minute items, I will beg him for more hugs and I’m certain there will be a few more happy memories made as our family enjoys our last two weeks together.

Until the 28th, and I’m sure for quite a while after, please excuse my roller coaster of emotions as I say goodbye to my little boy.


13 comments:

  1. Aw, what a beautiful post - you have done well! I've got just less than 2 & 1/2 years till I hit this point... Still lots of teaching & preparing left to do!

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  2. ohmygosh....I'm bawling like a baby. My oldest son only has 18 months left and we're both counting down the days; him until his adventure begins, mine until my heart breaks.

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  3. great post! did you mean "oldest" son in paragraph 3?

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  4. Good catch whomever you are. That is called editing through my tears and pondering the fact that my youngest is also a boy and in between the two are 6 more so I will do this many more times before my youngest leaves on his mission. Thanks for catching my error.

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  5. I cry thinking about sending Cameron on a mission and he is only 6!!!!! xoxo:)

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  6. I can so relate to all you said. It is hard but the blessings that you get come back in bushels. He will not only be blessed while he is away, but so is the family that he leaves behind. I love you all and just know that the tears get fewer and farther between.

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  7. Wow, does this bring back memories of sending our boy out! I feel your joy and completely understand your tears. The next two years will be a roller coaster of blessings. One day you will miss him desperately and the next you will have so much joy in knowing all the good he is doing. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

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  8. Man Stacy, talk about a tear jerker!!! I have sent off two brothers and that was hard enough....I can't even imagine right now sending off a son. May peace be with you and may the spirit constantly reassure your heart that you are a great mom and that he is ready for this next "first". You may not beable to be with him physically, but you will be there in spirit and supporting him 100%. The beautiful thing is, your son totally knows you will be.

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  9. What a sweet post. When my son left for Russia, I was nervous. But it was such a wonderful experience for him and forced him to grow up--and he was nearly 21 when he left. But I've since thought that was part of a bigger plan because he met his wife there (also a missionary). Since she's from Seattle and we're in Utah the likelihood they'd have met otherwise is pretty slim.

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  10. He's going to do fine with such a spectacular mom and dad. Heavenly Father takes care of his servants, meaning not just him, but you at home as well.

    I face the same worries. But I know that my boy has a ways to go before he'll be ready. It isn't for lack of trying on our part...it's just the way he is. I hope he will go out and find his sea legs so that he'll return with honor too.

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  11. Keep praying for him to the end. My son, fourth and last missionary, will be home in 3 months. Yeah! What a blessing it is to have a missionary out. I'll miss that sustaining spirit that stays in our home each time a missionary is gone, and I love that they come home men!

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  12. Thanks for the loving blog. I wrote one about letting my son go to Brazil on his mission that will post tomorrow on the ANWA blog. Many lessons to be found in letting our babies go. Love to have you visit and join my blog,
    writersmirror.blogspot.com. It's about writers news, interviews and book reviews.

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