Posted by Sally Johnson on November 28
The last time all of you heard from me I talked about Luke and his senior year. The more I had to write about the harder it was for me to do it. It was very exciting and at the same time it was an entire year of lasts. The last first day of school, the last homecoming, the last prom, the last lacrosse game and then came graduation. It all went by so fast and I spent quite a few days crying in my closet because of the speed at which it went by. Those of you that have a senior this year it is bitter sweet. There is no other way to put it, however I believe it’s more sweet than bitter.
Not only did our year fly by so did the summer. Of course we have camp in the summer time so there wasn’t a lot of time to think about getting him ready for college. After camp we went into hyper drive to get everything done! Getting a child ready for school CAN be done in three days! Many of you know we drove to Missoula, Montana. We went out for orientation and the start of school. They have many out of state students so they are gracious enough to do an orientation right before school starts.
We arrive a day early and check in. Luke wanted to stay in his dorm room from the start. My mothers heart was glad he wanted to be independent but was sad because this was the end of a chapter in all of our lives. Everything was fine, we went through parent orientation (it was very helpful) and then it was time, time for the goodbyes. Our goodbye was not long and drawn out thankfully, it was quick and short. We ate a fast breakfast Saturday morning then he was called to help his teammates move other students in. I got a quick hug and a pat on the back reassuring me he was going to be fine. At this point I was teary but new this was going to be the most amazing experience for him. We had raised him to be independent, to leave us and explore, learn and continue becoming a man. As he jogged off I saw the years of his youth pass by and then into middle and high school years. It was a precious time.
Now what? What are we going to do? I had told Larry at the beginning of his senior year I would not go straight back to an empty house. We didn’t. We took the next several weeks to drive back. We visited friends, national parks and enjoyed being together. I would recommend to every mother out there, don’t go back to an empty house, enjoy a little time with your spouse when the last child leaves. All of this being said, when it was time to start heading south, I was ready to get back home. Yes, I knew my house would be empty but I had already started planning what to do with his room. Boy is he going to be surprised when he comes home!!
Being an “empty nester” is not the horror story I thought it was going to be. Larry and I have always had children, Abby was two when we married and Luke came two years after that. We didn’t have that time at the beginning of a marriage so many couples have. I was a little worried about what this time was going to be like. So far so good! It’s fun being by ourselves and having our own schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss our children and they are doing well spreading their wings and flying on their own…besides, It’s what we raised them to do.
Sally is a Rome, Georgia native and started attending Camp Skyline in 1977. She loved the camp experience so much she wanted to give back, so she became a counselor. In 1997 she and her husband Larry purchased camp and haven’t looked back!