That is how long it will be before the oldest boy leaves for college. He will get his learner's permit to learn to drive (gasp) in just over 6 months. It's a strange and sickening feeling. He is a pretty responsible, reliable kid, sometimes he has "foot in mouth" disease...but I'm pretty sure that's genetic...not from me though. ;)
His leaving for college didn't bother me much until recently. We have several good educational opportunities nearby and he'd been talking about going to a local university and commuting. (Hear the angels singing, the birds chirping, the sun shining...he's close and I can be sure he's safe and fed.) But, sometime back in January he decided that his first choices are in (foreboding duhn duhn duhn, clouds roll in) The Big City several hours away. It wouldn't be so bad if his grandfather hadn't just moved out of The Big City, but he did. I know that J knows his way around from his many visits and his amazing ability to follow maps and subways (seriously I need no GPS if I have this boy with me, even if he's never been there, he knows which way to go.)
What drove it home..this reality of my biggest leaving the nest? The husband. (The nerve!) He was talking with J about being sure he knew how to do laundry, how much detergent to use. I got this image of buying J his own box of Tide, and I got sick to my stomach. (Maybe it was because I know there are more eco-friendly alternatives? Yeah ,that's it!)
THEN...I was driving home from the grocery store and a Macy Gray song came on the radio "I try to say good bye and I choke I try to walk away and I stumble Though I try to hide it it's clear My world crumbles when you are not near." I got home in tears, the husband came out to carry in groceries and wondered what could have possibly happened. (I blame it on hormones.)
I know my world will not crumble when he's gone, that he must leave our cozy little nest (key word there is cozy, there are 7 of us right now ;) ). I understand and accept that he is growing up, will eventually move away (not too far, I hope), marry (a nice girl, crossing fingers ,who likes her MIL), and that he has a very bright future ahead of him. But, I'm going to miss the one word answers, the rolling eyes..I'm going to miss seeing him every night at the dinner table (mostly..he is a very picky eater).
My hope and prayer for him is that just as he knows how to get where's he's going around town, he will follow the right path to be where he needs to be spiritually and emotionally. When he leaves for college and is no longer living with us...that will be the true test of whether we've trained him up in the way he should go (Prov 22:6). (And yes, I do know, that regardless he might still make bad choices...just hopefully not catastrophic.)
And I will need to get a GPS.