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My oldest child turns 17 next month.  He leaves me in a year.  Leaves me.

Please know..there is a part of me that is doing the happy dance that one of my four is moving out.  I am that kind of mom.  That looks forward to an empty nest.

The problem is, I still have three at home.

And my oldest, helps.  A lot.

Such a conundrum.

There is, also, a part of me, that is weeping.  Weeping that my handsome, smart, witty and outgoing son is leaving me.  How can this happen?  I grew up with him, to be quite frank.  He has always been my buddy.

I had lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we talked about our sons leaving, as she has one the same age.  We have heard that when the time really comes, we will be ready.  Am I ready?

Yes, if he takes all of his sisters with him.

Since that is not happening, not really, I am not ready.

During that lunch I made a vow to spend the next year focusing on my relationship with my son.  Because heed this mothers of sons, when  your son leaves, he is gone.  He will eventually meet a girl and then you are history.  There is really no looking back for our boys.  I know this is not the case for all boys, but let’s be honest- for most it is.  My daughters?  They will text, call, email, visit during holidays and want us involved (after the hellish puberty period of course).  Our sons will come to do laundry and wipe out our fridges, maybe, until he meets a wife and will only come to visit during the holidays if his girlfriend doesn’t take him to her house to be with her parents.

So I have one year.  One year to pray that I have taught him enough to be a positive contributor to society.  Pray that I brought him to love the Lord enough to make good decisions.  Pray that I provided enough experiences in life to know that life is not fair, perfect or handed to him.  Pray that I was a decent enough role model so that he will treat his wife with love and respect and be a good father (hopefully years and years from now). Pray that he will continue to strive for the best, when I am not there nagging him.

Pray that he will not forget his mother.

Along with prayer, I want to experience things with him.  I want to focus on spending time with him, just him, doing things that he loves to do (OK except video games…I just cannot sit in front of a tv and play video games).  Creating memories for him to take with him.  Perhaps then he will forget about some of the bad stuff, like my potty training nightmare with him, or the time I laughed when he fell off his bike and hurt his leg (he still torments me with that memory), or even, the times when maybe I just wasn’t there for him, for whatever reason.

With that in mind, today we went to the range.  And shot guns.

So fun.

And while we were shooting, I prayed….and thanked God for my son.

Fun at the range. Love that goofy boy.