Nathan and I helped move Hunter to the University of North Dakota yesterday. It’s a new chapter. Summer school and football workouts happen this week and then this weekend it’s the Lions All-Star Class B basketball practice for Hunter with eleven other boys. They play the Class A boys in Fargo on July 11 and in Bismarck July 12. After the games, Hunter goes back to his new digs at UND to continue on in his new chapter of college classes and football.
I’ve had plenty of time to prepare for this new chapter. I was Hunter’s age when I brought him into this world. I think like most parents with a small army of family, friends and our community we’ve worked to launch our first-born in this world so he can fly on his own.
When I saw a 4th of July summer storm brewing the night before we were going to take Hunter to UND, the sky reminded me a bit though of how I really feel!
Motherhood is my greatest joy, the most challenging role I’ve ever had, a whole lot of work and exhausting at times. Yet, it’s thrilling, exciting and rewarding.
My husband, Nathan and I made choices in our life to put our kids at the forefront as much as possible. We have said our kids won’t remember our business card titles but they will remember the role we played in their lives as their parents. At times, parenthood brings up a storm of emotions with the turning of a page into a new life chapter.
The storms pass, figuratively and in real life. And we are reminded of the big picture and greater promises, of what really matters in this earthly life. As the summer storm passed on the 4th of July, I saw a flicker of a rainbow developing. I hopped in my dad’s pick-up and drove down the road to capture it as best I could, knowing my mom was dishing up for all of us to eat. I grabbed a couple of quick captures.It wasn’t until I looked at them today was I reminded of the promises after the storm. Despite a long journey of being a mom, not an easy one because no parenting book truly prepares you for the curves, bumps, rocks thrown and storms you’ll weather as you parent a child, there is a great joy in seeing a kid with a solid foundation, a firm faith, confidence in knowing who he is and being proud of where he comes from. What really matters in this earthly life? Faith. Family. A rainbow over my favorite farm that produces food was a solid reminder of it.
I am grateful to have a son to take to his university of choice, to fulfill his dreams and chase after new goals and dreams. We are thankful for our son who loves his younger sisters and family.The girls have never known life without Hunter in their daily lives. We want him to enter this new life chapter. We are proud of him, excited for him but we all will miss the daily presence of Hunter in our home, teasing the girls, eating many meals together, playing card games or board games together and of course, attending hundreds of Hunter’s games and activities. We do plan to become avid UND Fighting Hawks football fans!
Elizabeth, age eight, told me she never wants to leave me and would prefer to attend “The University of Wishek” (our small town of 1000 people) if there was one. Please do NOT tell her she can get a degree online. In ten years, I hope she’s ready to launch into a new chapter like her brother. Yesterday morning, she told me UND would be her choice most likely instead of staying home. Miss E is always thinking ahead and has a plan!
Nathan, Hunter and I hauled up his basic belongings into his dorm room yesterday afternoon at check-in time. He was the only in-state football player I saw. The rest traveled from Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, Indianapolis and Wisconsin areas. Hunter’s roommate is from Denver.
Nathan being the home builder dad brought a new roll of carpet to lay in Hunter’s room. He had gone onto the housing website to check flooring rules and dorm room sizes. In case you wonder where our kids get their planning ability from, it’s Nathan, all the way, not me.
We didn’t stay and hover. Of course I could have. But funny thing how new chapters work, I had my first City Council meeting at home to attend! We had 240 miles to drive home and needed to pick up our dogs and one daughter yet along the way.
And last night when I wanted to call Hunter and just ask him 20 questions about the rest of his day? I, instead, talked to Nathan and he reminded me we aren’t calling him until he calls us. Nathan is a former Resident Assistant and Dormitory Hall Director. He’s experienced with worrisome mamas like me.
New chapters are difficult but full of promise. In a weird, missing Hunter moment I did join SNAPCHAT. I told Hunter months ago if he will communicate with me there, I will join. To be determined. But I’m there, waiting. He has texted us a few times. I know new chapters are good chapters, different and sometimes stormy but promising.
Here’s to our new chapter. Thanks to all who helped make it happen from teachers, coaches, friends, family, community encouragers (which includes our local dental hygienist, who also has her oldest child going to college and counseled me in the dental chair today while cleaning my teeth!) Thank you to an army of prayer warriors. A special thank you to the UND football coaches for making a new chapter as a third generation UND student-athlete possible for Hunter. Handing off our son and his future was made easy because of these coaches and their work.
And never last or least, but first and foremost, thank you God for delivering on promises we cannot even know or see in YOUR plan.
Anjanette Shadley Martin says
Ok tears-I havent had to send my kids away to college yet but my god daughter/ niece from Cali to Minot State 4 yrs ago & her brother to the Air Force…i beamed w AuntJi PRIDE at both of their graduations & cried cried & cried. I know some day I will be sending one of my son’s to college or the day they decide to get married; I hope I can follow your example & look forward to more of your posts ..