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This week marks the start of our son's freshman year at college. He committed to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. He has an interest in physical therapy, sports medicine, and business.

I thought he was headed to a University in Washington State until we toured GCU last spring, and he fell in love with "The Lopes Way". When I asked "Why Arizona?" he replied, "I found my people". How can I argue with that?

So we flew our family to Phoenix and my mom & her Fiancé met us. We attended Welcome Week activities like parent orientation, lunch in the cafeteria, stocked the dorm room with school supplies, and all things Target. We met his new roommate and parents.

I never left home for college. I received scholarships to attend local community college, while working part time and living at home I completed my Associates in Arts & Science. I considered University but never felt lead to commit to one particular program. Meanwhile, I fell in love. The dream of being a homemaker felt satisfying. The ability to give my time and energy to my family sounded rewarding.
It's crazy to think that I have already completed this milestone with our son. In fact, he was the only child for five years. During this time we touring children's museums, we took ferry boat rides to visit cousins, and endless hours of custom changes into Batman suits, pirates sord fights & Lego creations. Fast forward, our son has been a huge asset to our family farm. He was delegated firewood stacker, kendling splitter, recycling can man, dog food bag carrier, dishwasher, compost dumper, fence post driver and heavy lifter to name a few. This summer I spent time pausing my routine tasks to observe him working his tasks so that I would remember what he looked like after he left home.

We returned home from Arizona & he messaged me "Do you miss me yet"? The truth was, I hadn't. I'm exhausted. I had committed months to prepare him to launch. This move was his choice and I supported his decision but honestly I was ready for him to begin his next chapter. After all, we had navigated the pandemic and distance learning during his highschool years. He was ready & I was excited for him!

Of course I will miss cheering for him at his games but If I am being honest I look forward to less time sitting in the bleachers and trading that time investing in our daughter, time for myself and opportunities with my husband.

I had invisioned what it would feel like to say goodbye, turn and walk away. But nothing can prepare you for the milestone. It felt surreal, it was vulnerable and unfamiliar. When I sit still quietly, I feel that hole in my heart. Someone once said that it is important to remind ourselves that our children's goals aren't our goals. We have hopes for success but identifying success is personal. We give our children wings so that they can fly!

Son, We see your commitment to high school academics & sports. We are so proud of your accomplishments. May you find a new rhythm for yourself, be vulnerable, find your people, surround yourself with good and you will find your feet under you. I will always be your cheerleader, you got this!

I love you XO Mom

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