Hello Share Friends!
It's been a whirlwind summer! Since my last blog post things with Rachel have settled somewhat. We're learning that her battle with anorexia is much like her journey with Autism. We have good days, and we have really heard days. Unbeknownst to Rachel, she has gained 14# since her admission, diagnosis and treatment for her anorexia began back in March. This is tremendous! Her eating has been pretty much on point once her anxiety and OCD behaviors came down (unfortunately not without the help of some good medication). She still struggles at times with meals outside of our home, or in large crowds for reasons none of us understand. Regardless we support her through those times using her strategies to calm herself and coming up with a plan for when and where she will eat. Sometimes it's a simple as asking for a more secluded table, where she can face the wall and not have the eyes of "everyone in the room staring at her". Sometimes it's getting her food to go and she eats once we're home. It's a process we're all learning to adjust to.
While in the midst of keeping Rachel feeling safe and secure we have been prepping to send my oldest son, Ian off to his freshman year of college. He will be attending the University of Nebraska to study Computer Science and Software Engineering. This comes with a lot of mixed emotions that changed rapidly depending on the day. More so for me than for him. Ian was heading off to first grade when I began blogging here at SYS (You can read all about the emotional mess I was that day here: http://bit.ly/2hLsfV8 ). It's as if many here at SYS, James most of all have watched him grow up. We leave next Wednesday for the 7 hour drive. We move him in on Thursday morning. We will stay one more day and then for the first time ever I'll be saying good-bye to my first born, knowing I won't be seeing him every day. There are so many, many things I'll miss about him. I know this is the natural process but I really don't want him to go. I'd keep him here forever if I could. I've heard from other Moms who have gone before me that this is hard. Super hard. I've read so many articles about letting him go and I sob every single time. I've imagined how this will go and I know I'm going to cry. I think he knows this too. And I don't want him to feel badly for that. I need him to remain excited for all that is to come for him. I've decided that I need him to walk me to my car so that I can become the puddle I know I'll become in the car, not in the place where he will be living for the next nine months.
We've shopped for all the things he needs for his dorm room. He's ordered his favorite posters for the walls and started packing his clothes. I've ordered the campus issued care-packages that will begin arriving intermittently through-out the school year to remind him of home and hopefully ease some homesickness and college stress.
The other three kids are starting to feel him leaving too. Hanna's swim season began today and missing practice is frowned upon. We've given her the choice to stay back home with friends or go with us. She said it wouldn't feel right not to go. During dinner tonight Ian was out with some friends so it was just the five of us. Rachel said, '"this is what it's going to be like after we drop Ian at school. It's going to be so weird." Sure is kiddo! Sure is. In the last year Ian and Will have really grown close. They are four years apart in age, have a lot of the same interests that they discuss all the time (they are geeky, I have no idea what they're talking about, and I love it) and like all brothers do... they tease one another endlessly.
The entire dynamic of our house is about to change. I keep telling myself I've left my babies in the NICU. I've left my daughter in an inpatient eating disorder placement. He's on his own to find his way in the world and he's very capable. I can do this. But damn I'm going to miss him so much it hurts.
Sending you so much love and strength as you embark on this new chapter of Motherhood! I stress about the small things sometimes with my 8 year old, your post reminds me that in 10 short years I will be wondering where the time went. I hope everything goes well next week and you can get through it with as few puddles as possible!
Love and Hugs
Just sending hugs. Nicki
No one could have set him up better than you have for this adventure. I'm dreading the day as it is approaching faster than I ever could have imagined.
Oh Karri - big big hugs to you, mama. Such a major change with sending Ian to college, and though rationally you know it's the next healthy step in his life, I know it must be so hard emotionally. I hope that he's doing well during his first couple of months.
What good news to hear about Rachel's weight gain. You are such an amazing mom, and it sounds like you are doing absolutely everything you can to support your girl. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to navigate this journey.
Lots of love,
You're an amazing mom, Karri, and the heartbreak of sending Ian off to college is a testament to the incredible family bonds you've built through some pretty tough challenges. On some level I think I'll always feel like my own first born son saved me during those darkest NICU days with my daughter, and I can only imagine how hard it'll be to let him go one day.
Sounds like Rachel is making some incredible progress! Sending love and hugs to you and your family
I have years to go before i send my little birdies out of the nest, but I already know it will be as emotional as you describe.
I hope Ian has a wonderful first year!
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