Written by Amy Purintun

It happened. School FINALLY started here for my family. I truly rejoice in the new beginning, and being a teacher at heart, I LOVE all the school supply “stuff.” But this year there was a tinge of sadness as well as all the anticipation.

My oldest went off to college.

YIKES!! When did I get old enough to have a college aged child? When did HE get old enough? Where was I?? Just last week I walked him up the front walk to the “big school” for kindergarten.

Aren't my kids this age anymore??

And I am pretty sure that it was just earlier this week that he started middle school, and yesterday he was in high school. Sigh. And now, he is a college man. Even typing it still makes me tear up a bit.

Not little anymore.

We took him down to Lincoln (he is attending UNL) on Saturday morning. He drove his own truck, packed with all his necessary (?) items, and his two sisters rode along. We (his dad and I) followed along behind with the remainder of the stuff. We got parked right in front of his dorm, the upper classmen band students met us at the door, and within one trip he was all moved into his room. Seriously!

My emotions continue to be mixed. He is right where I want him to be. Where he SHOULD be. Doing what he wants to do, and he is excited. Eager, even. He auditioned and then made it into the Cornhusker Marching Band – so very proud of him! But, there is still sadness. Why is that? I guess what I mourn is the end – not the beginning. Our household dynamic will never be the same as it was. Change has happened. Change is a good thing – I LIKE change – -but, it is still very difficult. Even when you want the change to occur.

When the remainder of us returned home later Saturday, without him, everyone seemed to be fine. I knew that my hubby and I were going to go run some errands, and I was scurrying around to get some things put away. NOT EVEN THINKING about the events that had taken place. I walked past the chair. “His chair.” It was empty. Waterworks happened. How silly is that?? (my coping mechanism for that was to rearrange all the furniture – ha!)

Thoughts that go through a mama’s head as this transition happens:
*Will he be ok? I mean, really OK, ok?
*I hope he makes friends – godly, safe friends that last a lifetime.
*When will he call? I don’t want to miss it.
*He isn’t that far away, we will see him again. Soon.
*I can’t let his sisters feel like they are not as important – their stuff matters, too!
*I need more sleep.
*I hope he eats well. Sleeps well. Remembers his manners. Remembers who he is!
*I’m excited to hear all about his adventures – will he open up and share any of them?
*My prayer life needs to strengthen!
*I hope he doesn’t eat TOO well. (keep away from the “freshman fifteen!”)
*I want his faith to continue to grow, and get stronger.
*I need more sleep. 🙂  (did I mention that?)

Today his sisters started their school year. My house is now silent except for the whir of my computer and the various other motors in the house that I never hear with all the “kid noise” going on. I can sense the speed of change happening right before me, but there is no way to fully prepare for it. I guess I will just hold on for the ride. Pray a lot. And, maybe squeeze in a nap when I can!

(Feature Photo Source)

Amy Purintun

"Hope burns eternal", is how Amy Purintun feels about life. Growing up in rural small-town Nebraska, Amy got to experience the joys and pitfalls of everyone knowing everyone's business. College found Amy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (then Kearney State) earning her degree in Elementary Education. Amy has been married for twenty-three years to her high-school sweetheart. The early years of married life were spent in Kansas City, followed by several years in Columbus, Nebraska. Amy and her family have lived in Gretna, Nebraska for the past 16 years. There are three children in the family ages 13, 16, and 18. Currently the Director of Standards and Practices for the Purintun Family, Amy spends many days each week volunteering her time not only at her children's schools, but also at the church the family attends. Amy organizes and facilitates the Wednesday Morning Women's Bible Study, and also helps to lead the various aspects of the middle-school and high-school youth activities at the church. Amy enjoys reading and researching online and finds it fulfilling to share what she has learned with those she cares about. Amy feels best about herself when she is encouraging and helping others. From surviving the "honeymoon years", the near loss of her husband in a plane crash, job changes, moves, making it through the exhaustion of raising small children, managing all the drama of teenaged children, to the loss of her father recently, Amy continues to find strength through her faith in God and believes that hope does in fact burn eternal.