Looking Forward


Remember the movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? Near the end, Mr. Magorium instructs Molly Mahoney to “turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin.”

Whether I look at this part of my life as the next story or just the next chapter, I’m definitely in a major transition and I can relate to Molly’s reluctance to accept the inevitable change.

Driving Marissa to college, the back (and around her seat) loaded with her stuff, including a giant stuffed penguin.

Just this past weekend, David and Marissa and I drove to BYU-Idaho where we settled Marissa into her apartment, which she shares with five other girls. We unpacked her belongings, placing everything on the shelves, drawers, built-in desk or in the open closet.

Walking around Idaho Falls. It’s hard to see, but one of our temples is in the background.

We made a few trips to the local Walmart and one trip to Albertson’s to stock her up on basic groceries and other necessities, such as cleaning products and bedding. The multiple shopping sprees happened because there were other college related activities going on in between (picking up her student card, meeting mentors, etc.) so we were on limited time frames, plus we kept discovering things we hadn’t anticipated, such as the desire for bed risers (so she can store stuff under her bed). The stores were bursting with other parents shopping with/for their college kids. We were all on the same mission, buying many of the same items, which were getting picked over fast. Popular items such as pancake mix, Pam spray, individual plates, bowls and mugs, and fingernail clippers were scarce!

Returning to her apartment after our only shopping trip together.

We attended the parent orientation where tears threatened as I took in the sea of parents and students surrounding us. I was thinking dark thoughts, taking myself back in time when I was 18, fresh out of high school and clueless about what to do next with my life. I didn’t have supportive, loving parents encouraging me along the way. I knew college was a long shot, but I had to get away from home. I had no money, no guidance and honestly, I was burned out from just surviving high school. So I took a job for the state of Colorado, as a roommate to a deaf mom and her eight-year old son. They had been rescued from an abusive family and placed under the care of the state. My job was to help the mom become as independent as possible. Sadly, I knew more sign language than she did. We quickly became friends as I helped her cook and clean and be a responsible mommy. I knew how to parent because I cared for my younger brothers and raised my baby sister. But I digress…

Driving through Zion’s national park on the way back to Tucson.

I could tell my baby girl was holding back tears of her own when we hugged farewell on Saturday morning, after taking her to breakfast. I cried all the way back to our house in Utah, where we picked up our son, loaded our own things in our car, hugged our oldest daughter farewell, and began our drive back to Tucson. (We said goodbye to our oldest son over Labor Day weekend.)

Just the three of us. I now have three college kids living independent lives. I’m now raising a sort of “only child” for the next five years. And this mama is on a roller coaster ride! Letting go of my kids, watching them spread their wings and soar, is natural and for the best, but it is most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever done as a mother. It brings me joy to see them taking full responsibility for their lives, pursuing their dreams and especially continuing to live our gospel values, but oh how I miss having them around on a daily basis, seeing their smiles and receiving their hugs.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a mother who misses me and yearns to hear from me and be a part of my adult life. What I do know is that I’m going to find joy in this next chapter of my life. I’ll probably continue to have a few weepy moments, and I can tell my son is in a bit of a funk right now, missing his big sister terribly as they are best friends, but we’re going to embrace this new homeschool year together (which we can finally ease into tomorrow now that we’re back in AZ),  and we’re going to look forward to each and every text and phone call from the college kids, and especially to spending Thanksgiving and Christmas altogether as a family.

So, here’s to turning the page.

15 thoughts on “Looking Forward

  1. Tanya

    Aww. I know how you feel and the anxiety of not being there all the time. You raised wonderful children who love the Lord and are clearly trying to make good choices. Peace be with you Camie! Sending you hugs for this heart wrenching time. Also sending more hugs for this next year with your baby!!


  2. What a lovely post. You’re right, this is a healthy and natural stage in life, but I have to say I’m not looking forward to it nearly as much as I anticipated the coming of a baby. I’m just hoping it will not be as sad as I think it will be. Sending a hug over from England 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Camie, I am writing with tears in my eyes. Tears of joy and those sad mommy tears. I am so proud of you for raising Godly children and sending them off with love. Even though your upbringing was different and so hard, you choose to be different with your family. You choose love. You choose joy. You choose to give them what you didn’t have and I pray that you are filled and blessed 100 fold for your precious heart. I know you miss them dearly. I pray that when you rest your head to sleep that you smile knowing that you have done well with your God-given gift of motherhood. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. You are a blessing to me. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Camie. I only have one adult child, but I’ll have two in less than a year. You and I are so much alike when it comes to our sentimentality about our kids. I was literally devastated when my son left for boot camp. I couldn’t even hold back the tears- I was sobbing. I’ll pray for this tough time for you and for a new life with an “only child.” I also wanted to add that it was so weird when I started reading this because just as I read your reference to the movie, my daughter- who didn’t know I was reading this- called to me to watch a preview for, you guessed it, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. We’ve never watched it!

    Liked by 2 people

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