Monday, January 9, 2012

Left behind

I remember being engaged to D years ago and all the excitement that came with it.  He had proposed to me in the most romantic way ever.  He thought I was great.  I had a beautiful engagement ring.  I helped design my wedding dress.  I had fun planning every detail of my reception.  I was thrown several bridal showers.  I couldn't wait to decorate my own little apartment.  I was excited at the thought of finally going to the temple.  Thinking about the honeymoon.   It was a whirlwind of a great semester.  Except for grade time.  :)
I got married and never looked back.  It was all about me and my new future with my new handsome hubby.  Oldest child and oldest daughter leaving home and starting one of her own.  
I sent my son on his mission twelve days ago.  My son excited for his adventure that he has always dreamed about. 
It's different this time.  I'm looking at him through my children's eyes that are left back here at home. They miss their older brother.  He's gone.  And they're not.  They wonder how they can survive two whole years without him.  G would rather have his brother back than his own room.  They miss his personality and the attention that he gave each of them.  They are supportive of his decision and are telling him through letters that they appreciate his good example.  
In just less than two years, they'll have to say goodbye to A as he goes off to school.  I don't know how these younger kids do it.  Saying goodbye time after time to older siblings that they look up to.  
D asked me how I felt when my brothers went on their missions.  I told him that it wasn't hard for me because I had already left.  I've never been there when anyone has left.  I was the oldest and I left first.  I've never been there at home with the changes of having one leave before  me.  I've never had to change "birth order".
Thankfully, C continues to show interest in the kids' lives.  He has cute relationships with each of the kids.  He was able to spend time with each of them before he left.   
I hope that I can teach each of my children to appreciate each other's birth order and to show respect for each other.  That they will always show interest in each other's lives.  That they will be supportive of each other.  That they will encourage each other.  That they will love each other unconditionally.  That they will remain friends whether they are the ones that have left or are still home.  They are seeing that their family will always be their friends.  It just takes one leaving to see that.
Although I hate the word adapt, the kids will get used to having older siblings leave one after another.  They'll adjust to their new role in the family each time and gain a greater respect for where each other has been.  So, although I'm praying for C all the time as he is gone serving the Lord, my prayers also include my children left behind.  

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