He’s moving. What Do I Do Now?

He’s moving. What Do I Do Now?


On the day I became a mother for the first time, my whole world changed.  Everything shifted.  Suddenly, I was head over heels in love with this tiny baby and would do anything for  him – at any time day or night. (lots of at night 🙂 )  Truly, he brought joy.  He was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and he gave me a new purpose.

I was a career minded woman and gave it all up to stay home full-time with this tiny being.   I didn’t want to miss one moment.  Luckily, that is just what I did.  I was there for all the firsts ~ words, crawling, walking.  I watched him become a big brother – twice.   On the first day of school, I watched in anguish (and some relief), as he left me and went off to class.   I learned I had to share this incredible person with his teachers, his friends, and all the other people who were part of his world.happy with braces off

Although partial to him, I watched with pride at everything he did – or tried to do.  I thought every last bit of it was amazing and wonderful.  I never looked at him and compared him to anyone else.  To me he is perfect.
As he grew older, I watched more from the sidelines as his friends became more and more important and his obligations at school took more time away from family.  I prayed for his safety and good judgement, and worried about EVERYTHING ~ bullies, mean kids, smoking, drinking, drugs.  A lot of bad things play through a mom’s mind as she worries about all that could go wrong.  As it turns out, nothing went wrong – not really.

Later, in high school, I worried that he wasn’t “involved” enough and that he really needed a place to fit. However, at last, he found his place on the newspaper staff and his love for graphic design was born.  This was an area where we could watch him excel and then fly.  It was awesome to watch him receive accolades and awards, and just to feel good about himself – his own sense of pride.

Now, this amazing person is in his second year of college.  He has lived at home and commuted to school so he could save some money, and he has done well.  He works nearly full-time and is a full-time student with good grades.  We are so proud of him.


Riley senior portraitNow, he has decided it’s time to move out and get his own apartment.  He’s right, of course.  It’s time for that to happen, time for him to be more independent and exercise his own freedoms.  It’s time for him to start building his own life separate from me.  In truth, isn’t this what we hope to achieve with our kids?  Don’t we want them to be productive, responsible, independent people who go out and make a difference in the world?  He feels so excited.  This is his time!  And,  I am excited for him.

On the other hand, ~ I am heartbroken.  This young man has been with me virtually every day of his life.  In truth, there have been precious few occasions when we didn’t see each other ~ mom & dad getaways, camp for the boys, weekends with grandparents.  All things considered,  I have no idea what I do now.  How do I play this new role where I am not involved and don’t have much say in what he does?

I have three boys.  Have I mentioned that?  I am very family oriented and always have been.  Consequently,  I have thought often of what will happen when they get married.  I fear they will be pulled more to the wife’s family.  From a young age I have told them to grow up and marry orphans so that I don’t have to compete with the in-laws.  In truth, it’s only half a joke.Riley landing after skydiving

I know my son is a good man.   Without a doubt, he will do well in his life.  I feel gratitude for every single moment this child has given me.  He makes me laugh like no one else.  He is smart and charming.  He is handsome and kind.  He is my heart and soul.  And now, he is leaving….


We will be fine, no doubt, as we navigate these new waters.  After all, so many other mothers have gone through this very thing.  I am certain I am melodramatic.  I am so proud of him!  Still, I am so sad for me.

Thanks for letting me share how I’m feeling with you and bombard you with photos of my son.  So tel me, for those of you who have been though this, how did you do it?  Those of you who have not gotten here yet….enjoy every single moment.  The days go slow and the years go so fast!  Your day will be here before you know it!  #trustme  By the way, his name is Riley, and I would love for you to pray for him in this new chapter of his life.  Thanks!  Don’t forget to comment below, I could use your wise words right now.


Riley in downtown



  1. Yep, you did good Jenny

  2. Personally, I do not think that you’re being melodramatic at all! What you said here, “All things considered, I have no idea what I do now. How do I play this new role where I am not involved and don’t have much say in what he does?” really struck a nerve with me because that is where I am right now….and it is keeping me in tears much of the time.

    Our youngest son left for the US Marine Corps on 1 June 2014. I thought then it was the hardest day of my life. I know my haired grayed significantly almost overnight when he left. I cried for weeks. I am very proud of him for his service to our country…but so scared of the hurt that could ultimately find its way to our doorstep.

    I say “I thought it was the hardest day of my life” because at that point, it was (at least in regards to him). But, 3 March 2017, brought an even harder day for me. After waiting for two years for him to come home from Japan, he finally came back to the United States (California) on 25 February 2017. AND he got married. The morning of March 3, they said “I do”…in California. His dad and I live on the Texas Gulf Coast. Her mother got to be there and we didn’t. Had they given us more notice, we could have found a way to get there. But, we missed this very special day for my miracle baby, the baby Heavenly Father gave to me when He took our baby girl Dorian back home to Heaven.

    What you fear is already happening to me. They are going to her family’s home for Thanksgiving, a holiday that has always been my favorite holiday and a special bond between me and our son since we moved here to Texas (long story)…and now her family gets that, too.

    You’re in my prayers through all of this mama heartache as is your son. Please keep me and my Davey in your prayers, too. Thank you.

    Have a blessed night.

    1. Author

      Oh Suzanne! I am so sorry for your heartache. Being a momma is a tough job. I wish your son had given you more notice to. I think sometimes they don’t even realize how important they are to us. My #2 son is graduating this year and is also contemplating military. While I honor those who serve, I wish he would reconsider for the very reasons you mention. I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. Sending lots of hugs your way.

      1. Thank you, Jenny. I pray that your #2 son will reconsider military service, too. Our Marine is actually our #2 son, also. His big brother has been in the US Navy for almost 13 years. That came with weeks of crying and gray hair, too…and heartache of a different kind.

        I realized after I had responded that your post was from back in January. How does your son like being on his own? Have you been able to get used to this idea yet? I think maybe at some point we come to accept it, but there’s always a piece of our heart missing and wanting them back home, so that we can be sure they are safe and, well, because they are our babies.

        Thank you for the prayers and the hugs…the same back to you!

        1. Author

          Yes, we’ve all adjusted quite well. But in all fairness he only lives a short distance away. So we still see him once a week when he stops by to do laundry and have a good meal. Luckily I still have two at home so it hasn’t been TOO quiet….yet. All the best.

          1. I am glad that he lives so close by. That must make it so much easier, though still not easy.

            All of ours have flown the coop, at least on a part time basis. Our girls are at two different universities, one about 2 hours from here, the other about 3 hours from us, in opposite directions. They are only home a few times a year. All three of our youngest left home the same summer. Our Marine left that June and the girls that August. It was a big adjustment for us old folks. 🙂

            Enjoy that noise. Have a blessed night! All the best to you, too.

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