Beautiful dish my mother brought to me from France. I like to think of the little chicks as my three children.

“Ball! Ball! Ball!” says my youngest. We are on the basketball court down the road from our home. I bring him here to play in the sand and water. It’s actually a beautiful campground on the river. I’m here today because I have what good Southern women refer to as “hand washables.” My washer and dryer at home are the old-fashioned kind, and these are, well, the new kind. The washers have special settings, so one can wash delicates and even a comforter. Cool.

My father-in-law takes Aaron for few minutes so I can get the wash started. I selfishly linger in the laundry room for a minute of peace. It’s been a non-eventful spring break. I’ve spent it at home and decided that I’m not going to be jealous of anyone who has gone to some faraway paradise, city, or, heck, just had some adult time with friends or spouses. I leave the laundry room and see my baby with his Pops on the court. “Thanks, Lynn,” I say. “I’ve got him now.” Aaron loves a ball.

I try to show little one how to dribble, and I run after him on the court. His back is to me. “Gosh,” I think to myself . “His curls are so springy when he runs.” They look like Clark’s curls. This feels so familiar. It’s sinking in now. Yes. Clark and I are playing HORSE on the court and Becca is toddling around chasing the basketball. Afterwards, we will go back across the road to our brick house and I’ll cook dinner. No. That’s not right . We live down the road now and my teens always talk about how much they miss that little house. Clark is about to graduate and Becca is about to start driving. This little one is my only little one and we are starting over again. This is a cycle. I’m grateful and I’m grieving…. at the same time. Shake it off, Katie. This is just the way it is. Children grow up…..

As I take little one home, I realize that my spring break has been fuller than I thought. My family actually ate together, my husband and I watched a movie on Netflix (together!), I played with little one, I took my daughter for a pedicure, and I started a Bible study. I also worked diligently on graduation announcements. I mailed them today. It made me realize that it’s almost time. He’s really leaving the nest… my first one to fly. He will never truly live here full-time again. He will come home, but it will be different. I’m grieving. It’s been an emotional day. I saw him in my youngest today, just for a moment on that court, and it hurt. But today I’m also grateful. I’m blessed. All of my little chicks are here. Today my heart is full, and so is my nest.

Please pray for us mommas that have young adults about to leave the nest, especially those who are experiencing this the first time. Also, pray for God to protect and guide those young men/women in all their endeavors. Blessings to the class of 2019.

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