Let me start by saying that this entry is a bit off topic and gong to be too long. You may have noticed I did some blogging about change this week, mostly as it relates to fitness. Change is good, right? Of course it is.
Mitch and I subscribed to some pretty liberal child rearing philosophies. We let Derek (28) and Kyle (25) make a lot of their own choices, because we are huge believers in choice for all. We certainly gave them boundaries, but the margins were very wide. We always encouraged them to color outside the lines (despite what some of their teachers said about their coloring, especially Derek’s!) We modeled responsible, hard work but also modeled balance. During their public school days, their was no negotiating. Going to school was their JOB and they never gave us a hard time about it. When they were old enough to drive, they both got jobs immediately, as having a (NICE!) car was important to them. Kyle made his monthly car payments to us on time, every time, working at PacSun after school. Derek worked full-time at CD Heaven, and graduated High School early, even though he loved working much more than school. At 18 Derek got his commodities license, while Kyle opted to go to college in Orlando. Mitch and I remember that horrible feeling in our guts when we dropped Kyle off that June and said good-bye….but it was only 3 hours away, so there was some peace knowing we could see him whenever we wanted and he could come home if he got lonely. We were filled with joy when Derek purchased CD Heaven, and then his own condo. Thrilled for him, but also for us as we felt he was pretty grounded here, locally. After he closed the store and started working in recruiting, (normal hours) we started our Thursday night dinners. While I called them Vegan Feast Thursday, Derek called them family dinner night, and we got to bond not only with him, but many of his crazy friends. What a true gift this has been as you already know from my weekly blogs about it. While Kyle has moved on to Tampa with his girlfriend, and we miss them not being at our table, we are always happy that they are happy…and only 4 hours away.
In May, Derek went out to LA o visit his Internet friend, Jolene, and I knew, instinctively, a big change was coming when I saw his Face Book post about not wanting to leave there. Derek is NEVER lazy about getting want he wants, as demonstrated by his many crazy cars, his ability to land every job he interviews for and his pet, Lulz, just to name a few examples.
This week Derek has announced his resignation and the acceptance of a job offer (in his field of work) in Huntington Beach, California. As he said he is going for the girl (we always taught our kids to follow their hearts despite how it might break ours!) and the change of pace he is looking for, in a an absolutely beautiful part of the world. While we are incredibly excited for him, there will be a great void in our lives. Seeing him and his friends every Thursday night has been the high point of our week, but we are incredibly grateful to have had this in our lives, for I knew it couldn’t last forever.
As one who practices gratitude daily, I am struggling a little bit with this one. Of course I am grateful for my children’s health…and their happiness. Personally, I am grateful to the Wright Brothers for their invention, which I will be using more, now. I am grateful to my husband who I started this whole journey with, 31 years ago, when it was “just the two of us.”…and as our wedding song said, “we are in this love together…” I am grateful to my friends as we hold each other up, and to my students, who really are my family. I am grateful to you for allowing me this opportunity to put my emotions in writing and I guess when it’s all said and done, I am grateful that both of our boys are so independent. I think.
This Thursday night we will be celebrating with a vegan buffet dinner at our home. If you have ever come, or never come, you are invited…and as I mentioned to the crowd, I apologize in advance if there are bittersweet teardrops in the tofu…
Oh Bonni, what happy and sad news. It’s so hard to say good bye to our kids. When their dreams take them far away we do what we’ve always done – we love and support and encourage them and we learn to live without them in our daily lives. Brad & I just stood in the driveway this morning waving goodbye and crying as our son, daughter in law and 3 grandsons drove away. I can tell you that it makes seeing them that much sweeter, but the goodbyes never get easier.
My heart goes out to you and Mitch. It is never easy to see one’s children grow up and establish themselves……..far away. You and Mitch should be beaming with delight and I know that you are; but it is that bittersweet emotion that is so difficult. On the bright side, Huntington Beach is a gorgeous place to be and fun place to visit. Time will help you get through this new chapter of your life. You have raised two phenomenal young men and now it is time for you to share in their dreams. Your friends and family will be by your side and support you every step of this new journey. oxoxxoxo
I understand your feelings,with change and emotion. You are a very positive person and have helped me throughout the years.Remember the 4 Agreements? I still say them to myself daily and remember as long as everyone is happy and healthy all is good, change is good-embrace it:) Think of the new adventures you and Mitch will have now.
Judith Amberson says
We as parents have to learn to let go of our children, and realize they are not ours to have forever. I still remember the pain we felt when our youngest daughter moved to North Carolina, and the loss we fellt when our oldest daughter left us far too soon.
But you know in your hearts that they are supposed to leave the nest and begin their journey in life.
I know you will be ok-you and Mitch still have each other. Be grateful that you had all of that wonderful time together with two amazing boys!
Thanks, Judi. Mitch and I both know that kids must fly, just like birds do! Thanks for your words 🙂 xox