And now, he’s gone

May 20, 2014


Fairhope High School, Leslie Anne TarabellaThey tossed their hats in the air. His Dad said, “I’ll bet you a dollar he doesn’t come home with his cap.” About twenty minutes later, we found him on the field with a big grin, diploma in hand, and no mortarboard or tassel. “It’s somewhere out there on the field.”

“You owe me a dollar.” said my husband.


Leslie Anne TarabellaEarlier in the week, my youngest son came home and saw this little graduation display for his big brother and said, “Is this some kind of shrine?”

“Well, I guess it is.” I told him.

Baby shoes, baby Bible, first driver’s license, trumpet mouthpiece, Kindergarten graduation photo with Kindergarten tassel and a toy pirate. A few awards he received during the last week.

And wasting no time, he left this morning.

Just got in his truck and drove away to work at an out of state summer camp. He’ll go straight from there to college.

I told my husband when people date and plan to marry, they always dream of having cute little children. No one dreamily says, “I can’t wait until we have giant teenagers that leave home and break our hearts.” We are completely tricked by the cuteness of babies and toddlers.

My precious, cute little red head just up and left me.

I’ll sit and look at the shrine for a few days, and then I’ll be okay.

Maybe I’ll go look for his mortarboard and tassel.



Leave a Reply

  1. Awww. Mine is 19 and still living at home. It’s going to be a while before she leaves the nest. I’m kind of glad, but I do wish she would get her driver’s permit and start learning to drive already.

  2. Although it is bittersweet and not easy, you have passed the last challenge of parenting. You have raised a child that is able to leave home and just as important, you are able to let him go. Congratulations to all!

  3. He’ll be back! Lucky him to have such a loving family (including smarty-little-brother – ha!) and lucky you to have such a handsome, creative, smart, sweet son. Love the shrine!!

  4. {{{hugs}}} my heart panged reading this because I know the years will fly by and i’ll be where you are. i’m going to bookmark this for the days when my boys are driving me nuts and I start secretly counting how many more years until college for them to remind me of how quickly it will go. if I were near you i’d go help you search the stadium for his cap. hope you find it to add to the shrine 🙂

  5. You give me chills Leslie Ann! Been there done that and I promise you it will be ok. You will dry your eyes and dream his dream with him, then watch him work so hard to achieve it. You are one proud little mommy already. Treat yourself today to something……………….you deserve it.

  6. So sweet, and so sad. I’m thinking that perhaps you are correct in your assumption that they trick you in that sweet loving baby stage, but maybe they go through those nasty teenage years so that you’re actually kinda glad when they leave – ha! Seriously tho, I am so NOT looking forward to the day baby boy leaves me, even if he is getting on my nerves with his crappy teenager self! Congrats to you and your sweet red headed baby boy!!

    Debbie @ Flower Child Designs

  7. Oh, I know how you feel! Time goes by so fast with our children and they’re grown before we know it. But, you’ve spent his lifetime raising him to be right where he is now and you will recover, I promise! Thanks for popping in to see me and it’s gonna be an adventure!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  8. It is very hard to have them not at home everyday. Enjoy every chance you get though to be with him in the future. Just know you’ve done a great job MOM!

  9. Hang in there! (It could be worse. I have a cousin whose 40-year old son lives in her basement. He has never left.)

    He’ll come visit, I promise.

  10. I cried off and on for six weeks after our baby girl left. Refinished the kitchen cabinets and cried. But always happy for her.

  11. I started out laughing but now am in tears. And we thought the day they went off to Kindergarten would be the hardest. Hang in there.

  12. The pains of motherhood never end – I’ve always heard there is a special place in Heaven for all of us Moms for all the tears, worries, emptiness after they leave…..and there certainly should be! We deserve it! I cant tell you it gets better because when they come home for a visit, you feel it all over again when they go back to “their” home. I think you just get numb after a while. But we raised them to grow up into fine people and thus the circle of life…..I think we need a club…..
    <3 Becky

    1. It would be a great club, indeed!

      Thanks to all of you for your kindness and encouragement. I haven’t had time to reply to everyone because I’m running around catching up from the busy days of graduation. Cheers to all Moms everywhere!

  13. So glad I found you through Blog Her! My red headed teen graduated last year! Such a bittersweet time. Looking to reading more on your blog.

  14. I love the “shrine”…lol. It really hurts when they leave but it WILL get a little easier after the first year. My heart goes out to you but I know you’ve been a great mom and taught him well. It helps to know that it’s our job to push them from the nest and watch them fly. Love and hugs!

  15. Leslie Anne Hope,

    God love your sweet mama heart. No matter how hard we try and how much we prepare, launching those young’uns just about kills us. intellectually, we know it’s our job as parents to raise them for just such a moment. Emotionally, however, it rips our hearts out. I’ve been through it three times. THREE TIMES. Let me tell you…the heart’s pretty resilient. I enjoy the freedoms my husband and I have as empty-nesters, we stay busy with fun and worthwhile things , we have great relationships with our adult children and grandchildren and our house stays clean. Still, I miss those babies. I will always miss those babies. Not a dysfunctional “I don’t want to live anymore” kind of a miss. Just a sort of “dang, what just happened?” kind of a miss. God love your sweet mama heart.

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