All the things I WON'T miss

The merry 'ole month of May.  If you live in or around Louisville, the Kentucky Derby sweetly consumes the first week of the month and the weeks leading up to it.

If you live in or around the Wilder home, this May is packed with grandson #3's birthday, Mother's Day, Mollie's graduation from college and Clay's graduation from high school.  

I was sharing with a friend the other day that for years and years and years my children would graciously ask what I wanted for Mother's Day.  My response is still the same... just happy children.  Usually by 9:15 am on Sunday on the way to church, at least two of those four babes were "not" happy.  Maybe it was the teenage daughter who recently reminded me that she often was required to change clothes 9 times before her outfit satisfied Mom's approving eye... maybe it was the 4-year-old little boy that just wanted to stay home and play outside...  or maybe the 10-year-old that didn't like the food at the restaurant they had chosen for our celebration.

So sometime during my admitting defeat of happy children, when asked the question of what I wanted.... I chuckled and replied... "Stuff... just a lot of stuff!"  They knew better, and even just this week, my newest son-in-law uttered... "maybe this year, you will get happy children!"

Moaning a bit with a friend the other, of the fact that this will be my last Mother's Day with a child officially living in our home.  Calculating a few stats lately:  we are just completing our 16th year of high school parenting, completing our 25th year of relying on a school calendar to dictate the year, completing our 48th combined years of parenting children in school.  (4 kids x 12 years = 48)

A long, precious, challenging, hard, wonderful, overwhelming, heartbreaking, joy-filled chapter of our lives is closing.  Motherhood is all of those plus groans and utterances that I can't put into words. So as I ponder Clay's leaving home, a friend suggested I make a list of the things I won't miss when we are officially "empty-nesters".  I attempted - but it didn't turn out quite like I expected..

1.  I won't miss my dining room wall decorated with an ugly old bulletin board.  You see when each of our children began their senior year, we created a collage chronically that's child's life.
 But wait, I will miss stopping several times a week taking a quick stroll down one of many memory lanes giggling at a particular picture - recalling that very day.

2.  I won't miss Clay's size 13 tennis shoes tossed in the middle of my kitchen floor.
 But wait... I will miss knowing those shoes mean he is safe at home available for a quick conversation about the day.

3.  I won't miss every Saturday afternoon cooking a pound of sausage and a dozen eggs, then grating the cheese to create 10 breakfast burritos for Clay's grab and go breakfast Monday - Friday.
But wait,   I will miss each morning as he rushes out the door, grabbing his aluminum foil wrapped, warm from the oven burrito, he kisses me on the head, "thanks, Mom!".

4.  I won't miss sitting out in the snow, rain, sleet, freezing cold late night LAX games with my fleece blanket always along.
 But wait, I will miss watching those boys gather at the end of every game, win or lose, as Clay "prays them out". 

5.  I won't miss those nights of a basement full of boys wrestling, eating, playing corn hole must too late, noise, noise and noise, eating again.
But wait, I will miss those late night conversations with a thoughtful group of young men discussing their future plans and dreams.

6.  I won't miss Clay's messy room complete with clothes on the floor and the bed begging to be made.
But wait, I will miss that he'll be back in that bed tonight.

7.  I won't miss each Sunday afternoon at 3:00 trying to decide what to feed the Sunday night Bible study group of 15 or so - class of 2016.
But wait, oh precious ones, what joy it has brought me to hear you read and study God's word each week, to ask questions that none of us could really answer, to pray about everything, to encourage each other, to offer me such insight and challenge...

8.  I won't miss the question one more time... Mom - the jeep's out of gas, can I have a loan.
 But wait... we've raised 3 others... that question will still come... :)

9.  I won't miss the strong disagreements over curfew, the please, Mom, will you type this paper as I speak, you type so fast request, grades, college application deadlines, project deadlines with the need for supplies at 10:00 pm for the trifold due tomorrow.
 But wait, I will miss the chunks of time I could just listen and laugh with this funny boy.. even at midnight while typing.

10.  I won't miss that almost weekly conversation on Sunday morning... yes, you have to get up NOW or we will be late for church...
But wait, I will so miss the rich discussion that we had on the way home as we talked through what we had heard.

11.  I won't miss those that have gone before me with their wonderful well-meaning words of advice reminding me in the midst of a hard time, don't blink - they will be gone before you turn around.  
But wait, I tried not to... but I guess I blinked.

Oh friends, maybe next week I will share all the craziness, the worry, the gray hair, and sleepless night that have come with raising children, but not today...

Children are a blessing
    and a gift from the Lord.
Psalm 127:3


  1. My girls have been gone for several years, and your blog made me really miss them around the house. Especially as we're packing up to move to a "new" house, to downsize, and to get rid of a lot of memories. That has been the hardest part - to go through their things and decide what we can keep and what we can't. Yes, I blinked, too! (Dawn Murphy)

  2. Oh Dawn, so wonderful to hear from you!!! I saw your "new" house renovation on FB - looks so exciting... new chapters, right??