Inhale peace exhale love


 Our oldest went off to college.

 One day you come home from the hospital with this perfect little being and your whole life changes the next minute you're driving with this handsome man off to college?
Excuse me...who said you could grow up?!
Chaotic to get to this point- but we launched our oldest into the deep blue with one big jump off the diving board.

I have been practicing inhaling and exhaling a lot.
 No one tells you how traumatic it is to say good bye to your son.
 They have all kinds of wonderful books on preparation of having a baby and the "terrible" toddler years ( which mind you, weren't all that terrible) but couldn't find much material out there on how to "How to prep your parents for kids leaving for college"

 How do you get "accustomed" to a hole in your heart?
 I don't think I signed up for this....did I?

 I am very close with my children- I have four so obviously something went right ...or very wrong, either way I enjoy my children- I love them unconditionally with all my heart.
They make me laugh, they make me mad, make me think, they surprise me, they make me worry  ... all such a huge part of my life that when one of the ducklings flew out of the nest -
I cried and cried.....I couldn't stop crying and cried some more.
We now have a river on our property.

He is doing very well and adjusting to college life supremely. I couldn't be happier and more proud of him... It all ended well as intended, we all made it.

With a hole in my heart I tried seeking some council from my therapist ...great news, she told me that  I won't die from it.
 - I am so glad you charged me a whopping 70 bucks to give me that piece of advice.

(this is a summer rafting picture- not to be mistaken as college life...though I do wonder, ehem.)

I homeschooled my kids, read, skied, baked, swam, traveled, wiped tears gave out daily hugs- sometimes hourly hugs, the list goes on- I really enjoy being a mother. I know some parents leap for joy when they can head out to work or do the monkey dance when school starts after summer vacation nothing wrong with that...but I'm not that in that category, not having siblings and 2 parents living on 2 different continents I was lost and lonely as a child growing up- having a family makes me feel whole, I love being part of a clan.

Slowly I am finding comfort in my new daily routine sans the oldest. Parenthood never goes away it just changes and I think that was what was so scary it felt like a divorce.
Stunned and lost describes it pretty well too.
Daily conversation around the dinner table has changed, we phone or text. The other day hubby and I were driving up the mountain, Jules called- we put him on speaker phone, it's still a meaningfull conversation between us - just different- on speaker phone in the truck going up the mountain

Now when he comes home on some weekends and spends loads of time with friends and his girlfriend...the trick is you invite them ALL for dinner...pretty clever, we all get what we want. It works, it's different but still wonderful.

Letting go is hard, change is hard but seeing this beautiful human  blossom into such an incredible and independent young man, nothing fills my heart more.
I will be ok.

I guess the darn therapist was right...I won't die from it either.
~ addendum ~

 I have  wanted to write this for some time...I guess the words finally came.
3 more kids and will most certainly be feeling the same way as they all fly from the nest- maybe the first is the hardest- who knows, I'll keep you  abreast of the situation - until then
....inhale peace exhale love

(Thank you all for such kind and welcoming comments on the prior post)



  1. Oh goodness, you have me tearing up here, I can just imagine how hard this was. You are so right, we never stop being a parent, it just changes. Love your idea of having everyone over for dinner...I am tucking that one away for the future.

    Sending you hugs my friend. xo

  2. No, you won't die my dear, but the sadness sure makes it feel like you will doesn't it?
    I understand these feelings all too well, and I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but
    for me it didn't. As each one of my babies has grown and left the nest I have ached,
    but like you said it's wonderful to see the person's they become.
    But to tell you the truth if I could have them all living at home forever I would!
    My biggest hug to you Camilla, from one mama to another.

  3. This was my first day without my youngest, and I cried when I saw his grand dad's car leaving our street... I cannot even imagine how it is going to be when he goes to nursery in a couple of months..I cannot even imagine them out of the house. I am sure you will find a new happy routine again..

  4. Wish you a lot of strength to get through. It is true- we prepare a lot for a new baby, we can read a lot about toddler years, teenager years... but to let them go is hard. I am not there yet- but still- there are small things that make you see, that the kids have their own life, they will go their own way and they won't be so close to you all their life (physically, I mean). I love being a mother (even if the kids drive me crazy on some days) and I wish I could be there more for them.
    Treasure your memories, look forward to the next meeting and enjoy the 3 that are still at home :-)

  5. Raw and beautiful. Your children are lucky to call you mom..

  6. Knowing just how you feel - it was the strangest feeling when our oldest left three years ago for college. But, you do get used to it and you do get to have a new kind of relationship - although, my son is always our son - I certainly don't tell him what he should and shouldn't do anymore but instead enjoy supporting and loving him and crying and praying for him and at times my heart aches as I worry. But it is all in the name of love.
    Thinking of you.

  7. You have done a very hard thing, not only by moving into this new stage, but by putting such moving words to the experience. I also was not prepared to say "good-bye" to my eldest, and I am still sad, like Tracey says, but I suppose what has changed is me and you get better at living with the hole, mostly by being thankful for whenever we do talk, for watching him do what he's born to do - fly away (and come back again - its a cycle of sorts). That said - my husband and I joke with each other (sort of) about ways we can keep our youngest at home forever : ) Sending you big hugs here from Canada, so glad to see you back in this space), XO

  8. Oh this is sweet and wonderful and a new beginning for you and for him. As parents we never ever stop being parents I think that is the challenge!! My house is empty and I've found a new rhythm but it doesn't stop me from missing them.

  9. Oh Camilla...I'm so sorry you are going through such a hard time. But don't fret clan momma...I think your clan is about to get much bigger!! xoxo

  10. Thank you for posting about your experience, next year I will be crying the same as you no doubt. My boy (only child) is currently looking at universities here in the UK and will be off to experience his own world away from us. I am so proud of him seeing how he is growing up but I know it will be hard letting him go. Your post has helped me to know that all those feelings will be normal. i need to find something to occupy my mind for then ... maybe blogging again! xx

  11. so well put, Camilla. thank you for sharing this. our son just left for his third year of college, and while I still feel sadness and the vacancy, those feelings are somewhat off-set by knowing that he is doing IT and even enjoying IT. I guess that the missing him will continue because it was always going to be a part of loving him. I wonder if I would have believed it if I had read somewhere that it would be so hard; some warning might have been nice, huh?
    peace...love...peace...love... ~ annri

  12. Oh Camilla I feel your pain through the beauty of your words. It's a long way off but I too am dreading that day......

  13. Oh, I'm sorry, Camilla, very bittersweet time for your family now. It's good that he is close enough to come home on some weekends, though, right? It's hard to have the whole family dynamic change. I'm sure 18 years goes by very quickly. Take care.

  14. I missed this post, I actually don't know how, it's only the last week or so I've been absent from the land of blogs. We also have four children, and all but one have flown the nest, one of the girls to start her own family with her lovely boyfriend, so there's a grandbaby to miss now too. And like you I homeschooled (just the boys in my case) and was always here with and for my kids so it was a huge wrench to watch them go, but I've come to see (mixing my metaphors here) that however far they sail on life's oceans wherever their parents are will be the port they sail home to, to share their joy and their sadnesses and their triumphs. And yes, it's different, but it's also plenty, it's more than enough.


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