Wednesday, September 5, 2018

One FIRM Truth about Sending Your Babies into the World & IWSG

My writerly friends think I'm talking about books.

I'm not.

Have you ever taken a jump that scared you to death?


Just watching that makes me shudder, but I think this next one is a hundred times worse:


It's so much easier to take a terrifying jump than watch a loved one do the same thing. (And yes, your projects, hopes, and dreams can be the things falling into the world.)

This is pretty much what I'm experiencing right now. In just a few months, my first baby is leaving to fulfill a church mission. I've prepared him well and taught him the best I know how, but that doesn't bring much comfort when facing this big...jump.

I know, I know, I should stop dreading it. He's leaving for a good reason, and his service will bless so many others. To borrow a line from Kiren (my Maiden of Time Series), "My head understands. My heart will not."

But here's the deal, I know this is just the beginning of the end. After this, he's gone. Life will happen, he'll strike out on his own. I'll still feel every blow along with him, every sadness, every hope, every joy, but from here on out, it will be entirely up to him how and if he succeeds. I don't fear he'll fail. He's a smart, kind, hard working young man, but after this, he's no longer just mine.

I think we all feel that way about anything close to our hearts that we choose to share. And it doesn't matter HOW we choose to share them, there is just as much anxiety, hope, joy, etc. involved in the process. It's just important that we do take the jump--terrifying as it may be. Otherwise our loves atrophy in obscurity.

My son will do amazing things and I look forward to seeing them happen. I'm so grateful for him. Life is fuller (fulfilling) because of him.

This has been an installation of the IWSG blog hop:

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, 
M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

Last month Tanya Miranda shared THE ONYX RING along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win TWO eBooks.

The game:

1. I drink white vinegar straight from the bottle. 
2. I have dozens of analog clocks around my house. 
3. I could never build anything "cool" with LEGOs.

The lie: #3. From Tanya: Actually, I can build elaborate cars, planes, buildings, and other structures with layers and layers of details. I become a bit zombie-like when I get in front of a bucket of LEGOs. I get so absorbed, hours pass by without notice. During gatherings with friends and family, my husband knows he has lost me as soon as the kids bring out the LEGOs. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Juneta!

And speaking of adventures, how about an adventure story? Check it out:

Squirt doesn't believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi'an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can't go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don't know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant. 

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

Buy your copy now on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

www.sherryellis.org

You might run across Sherry nibbling at French Gruyere on a water biscuit. Does this make her a cheese snob? (No, it just makes her epic.)

Sherry gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win a SIGNED PRINT copy of the BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA(Open internationally.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT OR AN EMAIL ON YOUR PROFILE? No problem. EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, October 2 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on October 3rd, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. Sherry once played her viola at night in the middle of the Black Forest in hopes of scaring away the wild boars. 
2. Sherry enjoys parasailing and hopes to do it in Australia some day.
3.Sherry once crawled through a window of a locked hotel in Europe to get inside because she was out past curfew.

So sleuths, which is the lie? What important lessons have you learned in your journey for success? Have you met Sherry? Do you read love foreign adventure stories?

81 comments:

  1. He'll be fine. It sounds like you've prepared him well.
    Congratulations to Sherry! I'm going to guess the first one is the lie.

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  2. Thank you so much for featuring Sherry and her new book.

    A missions trip is a big thing. Your son is setting off on a life of adventure.

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  3. Awww...I teared up with your sweet post as I will be there someday with my sweet boy too. Yay for Juneta! And I agree! Number 1...

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  4. What a beautiful post. No doubt he'll do wonderful things. :) Yay for Sherry! I think the lie is #1.

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  5. You've given your son a solid footing and good tools. He will use them well. Everyone says the lie is #1. I'm going with #2. Good luck with your book, Sherry. It sounds like a fun read!

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  6. I'm sure you've prepared him well. Plus, you'll be just a phone call/text/email away. :)

    Congrats to Sherry! I'm going to guess #1 is the lie.

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  7. It's a little scary when our younguns take off to embark on their own lives, but you don't have anything to worry about. You've given him a firm foundation of support and the wings to fly. (But you ARE allowed to miss him and shed a tear or two...)

    I'm going with the crowd on this one. I think #1 is the lie, too. Boars would be drawn to her beautiful playing. She'd have to beat the heck out of some drums to scare them away. :)

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  8. Letting go is hard! Good luck to you and yours!!

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  9. Congrats, Sherry! I'm voting for #2.
    Good luck to your son, Crystal! Letting go is horribly hard.

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  10. Good luck to your son.

    I'll guess the lie is #2.

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  11. Change is something else, right? My mom cried loud tears with each kid who left the nest. You get so used to seeing them every day. And the reverse it true. When I went off to college, I cried every day for a week. The growing pains are definitely on both sides. :)

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  12. Best of luck to your son on his journey!

    I'll guess the lie is #2.

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  13. I still remember the day we had to drive away and leave our son standing on the lawn of his dormitory his freshman year of college. Hardest thing I'd ever had to do at the time! But it's all about teaching them to the best of your ability and then...the hard part - letting them go. Try not to worry too much, Crystal. He will return. It will be different, but you'll be so proud of the man and all his accomplishments. And he'll be so thankful for the love, time, encouragement, and opportunity you've given him. Have a good month!

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  14. Sherry's story sounds really interesting. Is number 1 the lie? Good luck to your son!

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  15. Your son's times are in the Hand of the Father whose Spirit goes with him. Still, it is so daunting when you stay behind when your son goes off into the unknown ... to you but not to He who goes with him. My prayers will be with him daily.

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  16. Ahhh, the feelings we have watching our children leave, when this is exactly what we've prepared them for, is such a paradox. We are excited and happy, anxious and sad. And, if you've done the job well, though they may leave home, they will never leave you.

    Since most are going with #1, I'm going with #2 and hoping Sherry has a fear of heights.

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  17. Twere I you, I would be scared shaking. My daughter joined the Navy at 18 but through the Naval Academy--pretty safe. My son attended a local college so lived at home. They are so young as teens!

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  18. I feel you! I survived my daughter's mission and now I have 2 girls in college. In 2 years my third child will be ready to serve. I don't know that it gets easier, sort of but not really? It's so much easier now than when my hubby went on his mission. Back then I had to wait for snail mail letters from him and he was in another country. I was able to log on and email back and forth (almost like chatting!) with my daughter once a week. It made it so much easier. She still comes home in the summer from school so I haven't "lost" her yet, but I know what you mean. Life keeps changing. In a way it's better, but I miss those snuggly days when they were little too.

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  19. As a fellow parent, I feel your terror. Good job being strong, despite your heart screaming.

    I'm going to say #2 is the lie.

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  20. Those are both very scary leaps, but I agree, it's harder on the mom to watch than it is for the babe to take that plunge. He'll be fine and he'll come back with a wealth of new experience to share with you.

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  21. Hi,
    Letting him go is just like letting one of your books go. After all caring. revising, and loving your characters you send them out into world for others to love or reject them. Your son has been under your loving care. Now, he's moving out. It will be scary for you but also for him. Here is where he finds and fights his own battles with faith and I am quite sure he will win. The best seed ever has been planted within him, the seed of love and care. He's going to be terrific.
    Wishing you a lovely month of September.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  22. Wishing your son (and you) the best! I felt the same way about sending my children to college.

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  23. I've been dreading the time my daughter would go off to college ever since she started first grade. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I knew it'd happen one day, and every year just made the time closer. Now I have an idea of what it must have felt like for my parents when I left to go to college.

    Fortunately, she's going to a local college so she'll be staying at home for a while yet. Whew, crisis averted.

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  24. Prayers for your son. I totally feel your pain. Mine keep flying farther and farther from the nest. My oldest went to China last semester and first night there, his debit card was shut off (security reasons, he forgot to add South Korea to his travel itinerary) and he needed $800 cash to get into his apartment. He called for help and I was in a panic. We got it worked out. (mom is still useful, even continents away, so be prepared!)
    BTW, he told me that people don't eat cheese in China, or at least where he was. I thought of you when he told me that. LOL

    I'm going to guess #1 as the lie, just because the others sound more normal.

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  25. It's scary how quickly they grow up and head off into the world. I think I still have four or five years before mine want to do this, but it will race by, I'm sure.

    I think #2 is the lie...

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  26. Change is hard. No doubt he's a little worried too. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  27. Congrats on the missionary! It's hard to let go, but think how amazing it will be to see him fly!

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  28. Oh my I know those mixed feelings. My eldest daughter has left home and gets married next summer. The youngest went off to university for three years but is working close to home and is living back with us at the moment.The years seem to go so fast. I wish your son all the best on his next step. Hugs and cheese, Crystal.

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  29. Good luck to your son. I hope he has safe travels wherever he's going.

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  30. But no matter what, you'll always be there for your son. He'll always have his mom. :)

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  31. Your post was beautiful to read. Letting go is the best thing we can do for our loved ones, but it's not always easy.

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  32. I know exactly how you feel. Shortly after college, my daughter went on a 3-month medical mission to a jungle village in Ecuador. No internet, no running water, no English spoken. It was all I could do to Keep.My.Mouth.Shut. But I swallowed my fear and let her spread her wings. You are correct. Your son will do amazing things. Because that's how you raised him. God bless.

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  33. Crystal, whew, I'm having to take some deep breaths right now because tears are threatening to fall. I can relate to this so much. My oldest left a couple of years ago and went on to do such amazing things, it still amazes me. I'm like, "Wow! I influenced this kid?" :) My youngest is getting ready to leave the nest and we just came back from shopping for some stuff for the big move (hence the near tears). I think the biggest blessing in all of this has been knowing that all of my kids felt secure enough in themselves to go out into the world just like yours. Your son is going to be doing so much good for so many people. He's going to touch the lives of others. I love that. Great job mom! My best to all of you as family!!

    Elsie

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  34. There’s nothing more terrifying than sending your baby out into the world, but it’s the entire point of parenting. I’ve been trying to focus lately on how sad it is when kids never leave home. I don’t want that for my daughter so I steel myself for her eventual departure. I’ll let you know how successful that turns out to be in about 5 years!

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  35. Awww... I feel your pain, anxiety, hand-wringing, tears, also, your pride in knowing you trained your son well, brought up a wonderful boy, you know he can do it. It's darn hard to see our babies leave the protection of the nests that we've built.

    Sending prayers....

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  36. Sounds like he's going to be amazing! And you'll be fine, too, mama. You've raised a good person who will go out in the world and do good things. :)

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  37. It is so difficult to see our young ones grow up and be on their own. But you know your son, you've taught him well, and he will make you proud with his accomplishments.Bless him and you and your family.

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  38. Of course you worry - it is a part of a mother's duty statement. And equally of course you are proud and excited for him.

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  39. Yes, we do worry, it is only natural...
    Letting go is the best thing we can do for our loved ones, but it's never easy.
    I wish him well.

    All the best Jan

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  40. I totally understand your feelings. My daughter is 21 and about to graduate college next year. She lives in an apartment nearby with her boyfriend but has her own good life now. You want that for your kids but it's hard being on the other end of it. At least you still have kids and a hubby at home. Enjoy it!

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  41. My baby just left for college, so I feel your pain. It's so exciting that they're out there living what we raised them to do, and TERRIFYING. In fact, it's scarier for me then it is when I am the one at risk. Here's hoping both of us and ours make it through safely and better for the adventure!

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  42. It is always hard when a kid leaves home, but we did what we could for them. Now it is their turn to build their own lives, and ours to cheer them.

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  43. Congrats to Tonya and Sherry.
    Hugs to you. It's hard when our children leave the nest. He sounds like a wonderful young man.

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  44. It’s hard to let our kids go. Like you said, though, he’s ready. And he’ll be back. some day he will add to your family too, do there’s that.

    For the lie: I’ll pick #2 (congrats again, Sherry!)

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  45. Kids grow up way too fast! But with the kind of upbringing you've given him, your son will be fine.

    Congratulations to both Tonya and Sherry!

    Damyanti at Daily (w)rite

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  46. Letting kids go is one of the hardest part of raising kids. I was a mess my son's first year of college. I'm better now that he's in his third year, but I was A MESS. I feel for you!

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  47. It's hard to let them go. Hang in there.

    Looks like a fun book, Sherry. Best of luck!

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  48. I'd say 1 is the lie.
    I have read a book by Sherry before, and I enjoyed it.
    Foreign adventures, I've have a few of those.
    Lessons I've learned is to believe in myself, because I'm the one person I'll have to face every day forever.

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  49. Yeah, it's scary when your little ones grow up and strike out on their own. My daughter went off to uni last year, and now has her own apartment. We are adjusting to being a family of 3 most of the time. All we can do is wish her well and be there when she needs help ... which is quite often :)

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  50. It might help if you stop referring to him as a baby--on a blog everyone can read. I know mothers like to talk that way, but he'll feel like you just kicked him in a sensitive place.

    I'm going to guess #3 is the lie, because it sounds so ordinary.

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  51. Hi Crystal,

    WOW... your son is going out into the world... I KNOW you've done an amazing job preparing him. You should be SOOOOOOO proud. He will also always be there for you. Don't you ever worry about that. Sons are always very close to their mothers. Rest assured...You did your best, now let the world rejoice in the wonderful person you have raised....


    I think the lie is #2.

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  52. I'm going with 2 being the lie.

    My oldest is only 13 1/2, but I've already been thinking ahead to all the steps into adulthood for him. A mission is an exciting opportunity, but I definitely feel for you. It's totally normal to feel that pride and happiness to see them growing up, but also that trepidation. Good luck to him!

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  53. The lie is one. My oldest is in college...living at home;) I still have all the feels as he will be graduating next year. Ugh. I feel your anxiety, girl!

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  54. Love the pic with the brain and the heart - so true so much of the time, at least for me. :)

    Good luck to your son!

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  55. Sending one of my kids off for missionary work would terrify me as well. In fact, I'm already jittery at the thought of my kids driving and I still have a couple of years before the oldest is ready for that.

    I think the lie is #2.

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  56. Yes, sending a child off can be scary, but think of the wonder experiences they have. Mine went to Russia, and I used to have nightmares. But he came back safe and sound. He met his wife there (she was from Seattle).

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  57. Thanks for sharing your "baby" with us. When mine left, I too, knew it was the beginning of "the end" of our life together as it had been since their births. Now, years later, I'm still in their lives and feel blessed that they are out there in the world doing whatever it is they are doing, and that they still include me. It's a brave new world for all of us, and you are a brave mom.

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  58. Thinking of you, Crystal! This piece is really moving. It is hard to let go, but you know you've equip him with amazing life and people skills. Still, it's hard to watch that seed reach fruition. <3

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  59. It's so hard to watch your babies grow up and then go out into the world. You'll have to trust that they'll be okay.

    Thanks for having me as a guest! I really appreciate it!

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  60. Wishing your son all the best on his mission - our neighbours' son just returned from one. [In fact, that seems to be very common around here.]

    Oh, and 3 must be the lie as don't remember European hotels/hostels having curfew - but then Black Forest bears aren't great composers...unlike wolves. Dang that means 1 is the lie and not 3.

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  61. Hi Crystal - he will be fine and will be helping so many others with his calm approach to his life ahead. You'll have so many interesting experiences with him and his friends as he moves into full adulthood ... but you've lots going on.

    Bubba and Squirt is fun ... and I guess # 3 as the lie ... cheers Hilary

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  62. Wait, what? Your son is a priest? :)
    Congrats to Sherry!

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  63. Oh. My. Gosh! Are you right about the scariness of making that leap, whether it is our human babies or our story babies. I wish your son all success in his mission. I feel he will help many people. God bless him.

    Sherry's book sounds amazing. The lie is #1, playing the viola in the middle of the Black Forest. Gosh, I hope I'm right.

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  64. Oh my. Congrats on letting your little one go out into the world to serve. I'm sure he will remember taking part in this mission for the rest of his life. And he will make such a difference!

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  65. They grow up fast. Now the rewards come back to you as they are adults. It's different but speaking from a kids perspective I enjoyed my daddy so much once I was an adult although I was always crazy about him. I got to know him as person in of just Daddy. Wishing you the best and safe travels to your son.

    Happy belated IWSG Day.

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  66. Oh almost forgot. Thank you I got the books and I am looking forward to reading them. I will guess #3 for this round, but have not idea really, lol.

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  67. Congrats to your son! Sending him and you many blessings!
    Congrats Sherry! So happy for you!
    Big Hugs Crystal!

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  68. Many of my former students have gone away on missions. It's always exciting to see where they get to go. Travel in all capacities is generally a good growth experience.

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  69. I sent my (oldest) baby off on her first church mission trip 4 years ago. On one of those trips she met the man she is now dating and plans to marry. My stepdaughter also met her husband on a mission trip. So, you never know what could happen. :) My guess is that #1 is the lie.

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  70. I understand that fear. Next year my oldest will be going off for her master's at NYU!!! She's been out of the house for a few years now for college, and she went to Italy for a study abroad (another time I worried) but the idea of her living in another state for a few years makes me a nervous mom. But I try to hide it.

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  71. Good luck to your son. He'll do great things and do you proud.

    Congrats to Sherry! I am going to say #3 is the lie.

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  72. I think no, 1 is the lie. It's hard when our kids go off on their own. Mine lives a few towns over from me now but he works on the river so of course I still worry. I don't think moms ever quit worrying over their kids.

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  73. It's hard to let kids do anything for the first time. I can imagine it's hard letting him go, but somewhat exciting and you feel proud as well. Stay strong!

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  74. Hmmm- I think the lie is #2. :) So excited to see Sherry here! Wishing her all the best with the release of Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China.

    I don't have children- but I can imagine it is hard to let them go.
    ~Jess

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  75. I can imagine that it must be hard to let your son go and embark on this new stage of life, but I think it's great that you're encouraging him to be independent. I'm in my thirties, and my mother still tries (unsuccessfully) to micro-manage my life in my many ways, and I think that your method of parenting, where you're there for your family but allow them to find their own way at the same time, is much better.

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  76. Congratulations to Juneta!

    I can imagine letting our babies go is so hard.

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  77. Best of luck to your son! I can see how watching him go would be so difficult for you, no matter the reason behind it. Hope you two are able to spend some quality time together before the mission!

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  78. Time to start celebrating instead of feeling sad. You son leaving to do his thing means you've done your job. I'm odd in that regard. Never could understand mothers around me feeling all weepy when their kids left home. It's a new chapter in his life, and yours as well. Enjoy it, celebrate it. When you do, he'll have more confidence leaving. Hesitation often gets interrupted by kids as adults not thinking they're ready. By the way how old is your son, how long will he be gone and how far away will he be? And take comfort nowdays there's email, texting, etc. Communication is so easy...much more so than it used to be.
    Traveling Suitcase Been ages since I've been out tromping my blog log...gotta get back into it.

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  79. Beautifully written, Crystal. I'm sure your son will do well, but I can only imagine how painful the letting go is.

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Hit me with your cheese!