Off to the Ranch and Lessons for Me

As I write this my house is very quiet, too quiet almost. Yet this is how it will be for the next couple weeks. My boys, J and Z, are off in Oregon at my parent’s hobby ranch.  At home, it’s just Greg and I and the girls for the next twelve days.

I instigated the trip and advocated for it, convincing my husband that at ages 10 and 12, there was no better time for the boys to go spend time on the ranch with my parents and younger siblings (ages 16, 19 and 20). And I was confident with no doubts or second thoughts right up until the night before they left.

Then it hit me.

Z has *never* ever been away from home without one of us ever before.

See, because his articulation issues, dyslexia, and high functioning autism, we’ve never even spent a night away from him. We’ve always had one of us with him to help with language issues and/or help counter issues that trigger meltdowns.

But he’s 10 now, and very high functioning, as long as he eats right and has the ability to leave an overwhelming situation – and no one tries to make him read. Then most of the time no one even knows that there are differences.

I sent my parents a long write up of both the boys – personalities, preferences, likes and dislikes, medical info, etc. To give them a better glimpse at who they are.

But for Z, I also sent along more specific info on how to prevent meltdowns, how we choose to handle his speech and language issues, and how we handle his current reading and writing abilities.

And my parents, being who they are, and having been parents now for over 40 years (continuously!), appreciated the info.

The boys are going to have so much fun in Oregon, and the ability to get to work with and get to know their grandparents and aunt and uncles in a way they’ve never had before is going to create memories they will have and share for the rest of their lives.

But last night, as I watched the plane push off from the gate, and prayed for over their trip and the plane, I, for the first time, had a real sense of what my poor mom must have gone through all those years ago when I was teenager, off traveling the world without them. Canada when I was 13, South africa when I was 15, Europe, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia when I was 18 and 19.

It’s a lesson in trusting God, and remembering that the boys are not just my babies, but are also His. He has a plan for them, and I need to trust that.  I am at peace with the trip. Despite my periodic flare-up of fear, this was and is the best time for them to go and is an amazing opportunity for them. And I trust not only my parents to care for the boys, but also God to look after and care for His children.

It’s good for me to learn this now, for this is a part of the parenting journey. If I want the kids to be confident and competent adults, they must have these opportunities to stretch their wings. And I need to let them soar :)


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