|Waiting for my dad at the Austin airport|
But the pain doesn't end in childbirth, of course. Any mom will tell you that. Nearly every single day of raising a child involves pain of some sort, and it was the pain of impending and indefinite separation that woke me up with sobs that Thursday morning.
We had landed in Texas just two days prior, and spent the day before in Waco packing up all of Kory's belongings and moving him out of the house in which he spent the last two years of college. It was the beginning of an ending.
|Boys' apartments...😉 Robert had bathroom duty.|
Magnolia Market one last time. It would be my first time to actually get into the bakery and store, since the last time I tried was on the Monday of Spring Break in Texas, and I'm pretty sure THE WHOLE STATE OF TEXAS (and possibly Oklahoma) was there waiting in a 2+ hour long line. This, however, was the Wednesday afternoon before graduation weekend in Waco, and the crowd was much smaller. We shopped in the market and even got some delicious gluten free cookies at the bakery.
Robert got up around 6:30 after I'd had time to sit in my dad's recliner with my Bible and my tearful prayers, and asked me if I was okay. I had actually been pretty weepy for about two weeks leading up to all of this, though he didn't know that. I didn't know exactly how to explain. I don't know...just the anticipation of a more permanent goodbye, the prospect of no more long winter breaks, spring breaks, or summer breaks, the end of those precious, few, and truly wonderful college years, and the beginning of an independent "real" life in another state.
My mind was being flooded with images of the past, too. I thought of the yellow "hundred number chart" I laminated and the inflatable globe I purchased in the weeks leading up to our first year of homeschooling, the Saxon math books, all of the trips to the library, the museum, swimming lessons, Legos, BB guns, pocket knives, paper routes, and countless baseball games and picnic dinners at the ball park.
|I've never played virtual Tetris, only real life Tetris.|
My goodness. On to happier moments...
The party was so much fun. Not only did Robert's parents make a cornhole game for us to play, they also made a life-sized Jenga game. Everyone took their turn.
|It meant so much to us that Melinda (my youngest sis) and Brent came from Denver.|
|And Lois, too! She's seen us through every year of Kory's life and done more than her fair share of kidsitting.|
So thankful she made this her first stop on her summer sabbatical.
|Kory's girlfriend, Rebecca, drove from Waco to celebrate with us.|
|The over 40 crowd sat on the deck.|
|A Fossil messenger bag was our gift to the world's newest businessman.|
|The whole gang - thanks to Lois' self-timer.|
|A Dad and his daughters. Grandad was at every Baylor move in and out, even when |
we gave him the option of staying home and catching up with us later.
Saturday was graduation. Kory's ceremony was at 2:30, so Robert and I took advantage of the morning by going for one last run around campus and getting one last Common Grounds coffee. Actually, he got iced tea and I got the Hotel California. (Seltzer, coconut milk, and lime)
|It's a beautiful campus, and I wish I had a few more pics to prove it!|
|This part of our running route dead ends at Common Grounds.|
|Baylor IS known for having the largest Starbucks on|
a college campus - in its library.
|We beat the graduation crowd only by about 2 minutes!|
We had a very late breakfast at Cafe Cappuccino and indulged in their gigantic gluten free pancakes, and then it was time to go to the ceremony.
|With chocolate chips, of course.|
|Hugs from sis.|
|Melinda and Brent - the newlyweds!|
|No, I didn't set out to find a green dress, but this one found me at Loft one day recently, so...|
|Checking out that diploma on the way to dinner.|
It was about an hour long wait at Chuy's - almost everyone's favorite Mexican food place - but well worth it considering that every restaurant in town had crowds gathered outside. We sipped on iced tea and ate way too many chips with salsa while we waited.
But I'm so grateful that my grief is really a good kind of grief, the kind that indicates the love and the bonds of motherhood. The kind that grieves the loss of more time together and delights in remembering happy memories from years gone by. I'll take that kind over the alternative any day. This is the pain that gives birth to life, and though I was resisting it, in my heart I know that this is the way it's supposed to be. Childbirthing is just plain hard...but also good.
So, it was a long trip back to my dad's house that afternoon, but a stop in Austin for a "family happy hour" at my sister's house was a nice way to break up the trip. She put together a little buffet of beautiful and tasty snacks and cold, refreshing drinks. The girls chatted and laughed in the kitchen while the boys all watched the Spurs game on TV.
My sister inquired about the weekend. "Did you cry?" she asked.
There was no crying on Monday, though. Floating the Texas rivers is such a fun and nostalgic activity for me, but it doesn't mix well with sadness or tears. I've been wanting to return to this childhood pastime for years, and Monday was our day. High 80's, blue skies, lots of sunshine, and no place to go except into the water for the next two hours and straight to get ice cream afterwards.
Kory and Ja'Kory, the bus drivers. Surely this will end up in a camp skit someday soon.
It's the birth of a new season for him...and in spite of the pain, I couldn't be more happy.