Nathan’s been back in Florida almost two weeks now, but he left behind lots of Nathan memories lurking here, there and everywhere. And there’s nothing dearer to this mama’s heart than to come across an unexpected (lurking) Nathan memory. Of course, when I have lots of photos of him to look at, that certainly helps, too.
Whenever he’s at home, I love taking pictures of his stuff—like his Bible, his computer, his phone, and his backpack all stacked by the recliner in the living room. No better way to be reminded that one’s (former) College Dude is on the premises than to come across the (former) College Dude’s belongings.
Of course, when he (and his sidekick) are actually sitting in the chair, well, that’s even better.
On his last Sunday here, I was so happy to get to sit between him and Sarah during church. It is such a rare treat to be surrounded by both of my beloved Smith kids.
While I worked on Sunday lunch after church, he and Steve sat out on the front porch so that Nathan could play Steve a worship song on his computer that he loves.
In this shot, it looks like Nathan is working on the drum beat . . .
. . . and in this shot, I think Steve is acting out some some sort of musical accent. Or something. (We may never know.)
And then? After lunch?
It was time.
Time for goodbye hugs where the big brother attempted to strangle the little sister. (You will please note that Snowy is wearing his best patient doggie look.)
Fortunately, the sisterly strangling eventually gave way to a regular ol’ brother/sister hug.
I said goodbye for the last time to my son as a single man. (And although I don’t look like it in the picture, I did get a little weepy.)
When it came time for Steve and Nathan to hug, it started out well until Nathan goosed Steve just a bit. And then, of course, he laughed cheerily at his Dad’s discomfiture. Nathan has been a tease for as long as I can remember; it’s a good thing that Meagan is able to take it and dish it out!
Since both Sarah and Steve had plans that afternoon, I got the wonderful privilege of driving Nathan to Norfolk. He gallantly pumped the gas for me while I surreptitiously admired my wonderful son in the mirror. (And got teary eyed again.)
We had such a nice two hour trip, talking about everything and nothing. And then (way, way too soon), we were there. At the airport. And he was climbing out of the car, getting his luggage from the trunk, and hugging me.
And then walking away.
Leaving behind a sad, happy, proud, weepy, smiling, sentimental, loving mama.
Hard to believe this chapter is done. Hard to believe that I am soon going to be the mom of a married son. And the mother-in-law of a married daughter-in-law. And eventually (not too soon) a grandma to the planet’s cutest, smartest, most charming grandbabies.
So many good things have happened in the past twenty one years. So many good things are yet to be. And I’m excited and thrilled and happy about it all.
But I still miss my little boy.
Comments and Questions
Danette Baker said, “Isn't God good to take those human mistakes, in this case a computer not yours, and turn them into a wonderful bliss filled gift. Those pictures were lovely and I found my heart gasping when I saw what you had found. I'm so thankful you shared them with us. I am curious to know if this church is still an active church or just a historical setting now?”
Danette, yes the church is still very active. I thought as I walked around the grounds that it would be such a gorgeous place to go to church!
I lost the name of the person who asked this question, but they wanted to know what brand Sarah’s blue backpack is that she wears in a lot of pictures.
The backpack is by Vera Bradley. Some blog friends who we met in real life several years ago (Hi Ann and Jim!) sent that to Sarah (with her initials embroidered on it) over a year ago. Sarah has absolutely loved it and takes it with her all the time.
Lisa Burt wrote, “Hello and congratulations. What subject did Nathan graduate in and what does he hope to do as a career. What an exciting time for you all. Love and prayers.”
Lisa, Nathan graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. (Similar focus to a psychology degree.) He’s still considering several options for his career but in the meantime, wants to go back to school to get his Master's degree.