My oldest leaves for college in exactly a month. I already went through my graduation-day-emotional-roller-coaster where I'd stay up scrapbooking an album for him until one in the morning, which naturally required texting him things like, "KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!"
It would wake him up, and he'd be like, "Mom, are you okay?"
I'm sure I will be. Eventually. But right now I'm still riding the moving-out-emotional-roller-coaster. And as I'm currently cleaning out the garage, the ride just got a little wilder.
I found the journal I wrote to him before he was born. I found the poem I wrote when he first told me I was beautiful. And I found this:
This is probably the only time Jordan has ever worn a cowboy hat, but I feel like this photo is symbolic of who he is. He's a hero.
Through all my old journal reading this week, one thing has stood out about this kid. He's a protector. Even as a one-year-old, when I didn't have anyone to babysit him and he had to go with me to my prenatal appointment, he didn't want me on the exam table by myself. It bothered him. So I pulled him up with me and he lay over my pregnant belly to keep me safe from the doctor.
After my third child was born, if she cried, he'd ask, "What's wrong with Lauren?"
When he and Caitlin were in elementary school and got along worse than cats and dogs, the Sunday school teacher would tell us that he still put his arm around her in class.
When I was a single mom, he took on a role no child should ever be burdened with--man of the house.
When he had a friend treat a girl in high school disrespectfully, it broke him up to think how he would feel if his friend had treated his sisters this way. He ended their friendship.
He sponsors a child in Mexico.
Last weekend, when we had a birthday party for my four-year-old niece, and she got potato chip crumbs all over the floor then told me I had a messy house because my floor was dirty, Jordan swept up the potato chips. He doesn't care about the potato chips. He cares about being a good example in his cousin's life.
And he's always giving me advice
There are so many more stories like this from our past, and I know there will be many more stories like this in his future. It may be hard to say goodbye, but it's not because I have any fear that he still needs me. My little boy has become a man.