My Mile Marker Zero

Many of you may recognize this as Mile Marker Zero in Key West, Florida. Which might make you think that this is a travel blog post and it could be. We traveled there this summer, yes in 2020. It was my son’s senior trip, the handsome fellow you see in this picture. All he wanted was to go somewhere where he could snorkel. The Keys it was. What I did not anticipate was this picture.

God like to surprise us with little things that make our hearts happy. When we planned the trip, I know He was like, “This is gonna be so cool. You are gonna love this picture I have planned.” The reason it is so cool is that Jonathan is my fourth and final kid. I am officially done- he is my mile marker zero. It didn’t even occur to me when I took it. It was just a cool picture on a family vacation. But later, when we got home and I was looking at pictures, it hit me. Wow, what a way to wrap it up.

You would think that hitting such a milestone would feel so great. And it does feel great but at the exact same moment, it feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. When the older two left home, I comforted myself with the fact that I had two more kids at home. Then the baby girl left home and that hurt like a mother. But, I still had J. Now, it’s mile marker zero.

So, here I sit. I can’t say I don’t have any regrets. I firmly believe that if you get to the end of your parenting run and don’t have any regrets, you didn’t take the job seriously enough. I may have some regrets, things I would do differently but I have no guilt or remorse. I know that I did the absolute best that I could with the tools that I had. Yes, 48 year-old me could do a few things better than 28 year-old me- I should hope so! But, I gave it my all and I am very proud of the humans I turned lose on the world.

Jonathan has joined the Marines and ships out January 19th. Talk about an abrupt ending. I am going from having full control (that is different from being controlling) to having NO control over anything in his life. I am not going to lie, this is a difficult curve to navigate. I mean, if anyone else talked to him they will talk to him, I would have gone OFF on them. You do NOT mess with my kids.

I realized that I had this narrative in my head that the Core was intentionally going to destroy all that I had built. While talking to my family at Christmas, this came out of my mouth. Thankfully, my dad is a former Marine. He said, “No Honey, its not like that.” On the long drive back to my island, I processed through all of this. I decided to change the narrative. I chose to look at it from a different perspective. I raised a young man who knows his mind, knows himself, above all knows Jesus, and is so strong that no matter was the Marines throw at him, they won’t break him.

It is amazing how a human heart can feel so many big emotions fully at the same time.

I am incredibly PROUD of him.

I am so SAD I won’t get to hear his voice everyday.

I am so HAPPY he is moving into adulthood and following his passion.

I am AFRAID of where that path will take him.

I am so EXCITED to see where that path will take him.

The list goes on. I am so grateful to have been given the gift of raising this boy. So, I will focus on the positive and celebrate my Mile Marker Zero.

Working, Working- Thanks, Mom!

What a great mom!
What a great mom!

I wish every person could have a mom like mine.  She is always willing to help and even when we disagree, it is usually because we both want what is best for me but just have different ideas as to what that is.  Today mom came by with pizza and then began to clean.  If you have ever moved, you know just how good pizza is and much help is appreciated.

My mom has always put her children first, not just with words but with actions.  She stayed at home with all three of us putting off her plans to be a teacher.  She always said that she wanted to be the one who was with us when we were sick and available for us if we needed her.  We were first and we knew it.  I followed her excellent example and I don’t regret a moment.  Once my youngest sister got into high school mom went back to college.  She is now a teacher and is still putting children first.  I am very grateful.

So, while mom was at the house we cleaned.  She cleaned the wood burning stove and the carpets were cleaned.  The carpets will eventually be replaced with wood, carpet has no place on a farm with what gets tracked in to the house.  The kids unpacked boxes and cleaned their rooms.

Wednesday will be a work day, but it will be focused on the outdoors.  We may be moving, but planting season waits for no one!  So, I will till the beds that are left and finish the herb beds.  If all goes according to plans (which is very rare)  I will plant on Friday.  Seedlings are outside now getting hardened off and will be in the ground on Friday.

Spring is here and I am so excited!!