…And Then There Were Four

Somehow it seems that I was time-warped into the future. You see, it seems like just a few days ago that my oldest son Caleb was 12 years old. And today, he is living his first week as a college student a whopping six hours away from home.  How did that happen?  Anybody?  This was the scene from my spot in the mighty minivan as we rolled into campus.

We managed to cram all of his belongings, including a refrigerator, microwave, closet organizing system, bedding, clothes, computer and boxes of other stuff, along with my family of 7 into our little minivan. It was a tight squeeze and I’m not exactly sure how we pulled it off.  But we made it.

When we arrived, I was hoping he would let me organize his closet and put away his clothes, but he respectfully declined my offer. I guess it isn’t cool to be seen with your momma folding your boxer shorts in college.  *Sigh*  I suppose I just wanted to do one more act of mothering before letting go.

Even though it has only been a few days, my heart aches for him already.  He is my firstborn.  Sweet, kind, introspective, smart, funny and brave.  He is all of those things.  My other four children are so much better for having a big brother like him who left a blazing example of the kind of person they can become.  The things they can accomplish.  The lives they can touch.  Thank God for Caleb.

In any event, I’m happy to report that I didn’t blubber like a lunatic when I had to say goodbye. At least not in front of him.  😉


  1. What a beautifully written post! Thank you, Lori, for sharing these personal parts of your life with us!

  2. This reminded me of the time I took my firstborn off to college, only 2 hrs away. Cried all 2 hrs back, and his little sister didn’t understand why, but she too eventually cried for him.

  3. My word! I have been a bit sensitive and broken-hearted today because my oldest son started first grade. I need moms like you to give me perspective and prepare me for the bigger heartaches to come! Your children are so blessed to have a mom who loves them like crazy and will do anything possible to nurture them and help them reach their maximum potential. You are a great example to me and so many others!

  4. you’re really a super sweet mom.. I don’t even know you but you brought tears into my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  5. That story really touched my heart too..it made me cry…ya see, I can remember when he was 12 years old just yesterday, too! He is , indeed a very special young man!

  6. My oldest of four also started college this week. We moved her in last week. At least she is only 40 minutes away and as of now is planning on coming home on weekends. When I read your post last week, all I could is cry but the move in went well and I didn’t shed any tears then. As a girl, she didn’t mind me putting her stuff away and as a typical child has had to call when she couldn’t find something. She is having a blast and growing a little bit more into an adult each time I talk to her. As my daughter, I feel like we have become friends and not just the parent/child relationship. My next child is a son and he will be leaving in two years. I think he will go further away and he doesn’t like to tell me all about everything going on in his life now. I think it is the difference in boys and girls and in their personalities. I can’t image moving two kids to two different colleges. That should be exciting! Hope you adjust and don’t forget to enjoy the others as soon they will be leaving our nest too!

    • Wow, two in two different colleges will be hard on mom, huh? I hadn’t thought of it, but my middle three are only 3 years apart so I may have three in three different college. Oye. Glad the move in went smoothly for you…and at least she let you help her organize. :)

  7. I’m taking my youngest to college tomorrow. Someone needs to tell us how the past 18 years flew by!! My oldest is a junior at a different college. He’s off campus on which makes it a bit easier. They are both within a 2-hr drive – close enough, yet far enough..lol. Good luck to everyone!!

  8. Yes, I am sitting here crying at your post. Thanks for sharing! Your son is really lucky to have such a caring mommy. My baby girl starts kindergarten this year and my oldest daughter just started high school. It’s an emotional school year for me as well.

  9. Your story made me teary eyed. My oldest started high school this year and I keep thinking only four more years and he may be going away to school. Our time with our children is such a precious gift from God and to watch them grow is so bittersweet.