Written by Traci Runge

Well, it just goes to show you…..no matter how hard you try to pretend something inevitable isn’t going to happen…..it still does!

The time has come for Taylor to head back to Wesleyan. As I am writing this, she is packing. Saturday morning we will load up our vehicles and head to Lincoln. I have enjoyed this past week with her home and all the other kids at school immensely! I am thankful she is so close, but when we join hands at the dinner table each night to pray, there’s that empty chair and at Mass on Sundays there is one less spot filled in our pew.

Taylor isn’t one of our rowdiest kids, but somehow the house seems quieter when she is gone. I will miss our morning coffee while we watch the Today Show, the fun little inside jokes we have and how we frequently laugh until we cry!

I remember the day she was born; she came nearly three weeks early and arrived the day of my baby shower. There were over 40 people at the hospital that afternoon to welcome her into the world! The mom of a close friend said to me that day, “Remember this feeling. You will only feel this way once. You will love your other children, but when they come into the world you will never experience that feeling of becoming a mother ever again.” She was right. There’s nothing quite like that moment…seeing your firstborn and holding them in your arms.

Now when I hold her, she is taller than me and quite possibly the most beautiful woman in the world….inside and out! I can honestly say I am better for knowing her and having her in my life and I know HANDS DOWN, I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.

This week we have enjoyed some time shopping for some of the necessities she will need, ran as a family in the Lizzie Stratton Memorial 5K, enjoyed watching Payton play in her first High School Golf Meet, we visited her old elementary school and had lunch with her two youngest brothers, got her nails done and had a lunch date with our friend Jon.

It has been such a busy week that we waited until the very last minute to pack. Of course, this procrastination could partially be due to a little sadness on both our parts. I know she is ready to head back to school, but I also know how important family is to her and how much she adores her siblings.

Taylor is an awesome oldest child; my husband often says we are spoiled because she makes parenting so easy. She is an over-achiever, extremely moral, smart, and beautiful and a hard worker, we are so blessed.

I am sure there will be more than a few tears shed as I hug her good-bye. I have already cried several times this week…it’s not really sadness, I am truly amazed at the remarkable young woman she has grown into and I know without a doubt that she is where God wants her to be. I guess the tears are a combination of pride and sorrow if that makes sense. I am thrilled that she has the opportunity to live her life and follow her dreams, but at the same time I miss her smile and her laugh and her hugs and giggling together about silly things and singing along to the radio and trips to Target and….well, just her….

Raising kids is the toughest job in the world they say, but I think letting them go is even tougher.

I love you Sunshine, thank you for making this “job” the BEST EVER, for YOU I AM truly GRATEFUL!!! <3

Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity. www.sendoutcards.com/tracirunge