He’s Gone Again


Does anyone remember the river of tears I cried when Chad left last semester?  You don’t remember?  I do!  Here’s one of the stories I wrote about it and there were many . . too many!  We survived the semester probably totally because he came home on weekends.

Then he came home for the summer and I wondered why I had been so sad when he left.  Seriously, I was thrilled to have him home but:

  • The downstairs bathroom belongs to Chad and when he’s back, I have to run upstairs every time I have to go!   Worse, Speck is always down there with me and he gets kinda crazy if I leave him downstairs and since we don’t let him go up and down the stairs, I have to carry him up and carry him back down . . every time I have to go to the bathroom.
  • My sewing machine is right outside Chad’s bedroom door.  The longarm is across the room but it makes a bit more noise than does the sewing machine so I try not to use either til Chad’s awake.  Sometimes he works late; too often he just plain stays out too late.  Heck, he’s 21.  That’s what he’s supposed to do.  I understand but I’ve spent too many mornings this summer waiting for him to get up so I can sew.
  • His music . . some of it I like; some of it makes me want to rip out his speakers . . If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said “please turn down the stereo”, I’d be a rich woman.
  • Food  . . the kid eats so much!  I cook, I have leftovers and I get ready to serve them to Vince for lunch and they’re gone!  Chad came in from work late and ate them.
  • The garage – 2 out of 3 times when he comes home from anywhere, he pops his hood and sprays something on something.  The something smells like WD-40.  It may be WD-40.  I haven’t asked what it is but my garage smells like WD-40.
  • Sleep – I must have my sleep.  When Chad’s out, I kinda sleep with one eye open til he gets home.  Half the time, he’ll send me a text message when he gets home to see if I’m awake.  If I am . . he wants to talk! Usually about something he’s going to invent or the way he plans to earn his first $1 million.  These conversations last for a long time!


This morning he packed his belongings in his car and headed back to school.  There wasn’t much room left in the car once he got everything in there!

The funny (or not so funny!) thing was . . last night we had given him checks for everything . . housing, tuition, books . . and then he came back upstairs and said:  Oh, what am I going to do about a TV this semester?  Did you remember that I need a new one?

Vince and I both looked at each other and shook our heads.  Last semester Chad decided the TV he had wasn’t quite good enough and gave it away at the end of the semester.  Vince and I both decided that Chad works . . we pay for school; if he wants a new TV . . he’s paying for it and he can get anything, any size, he wants!  It will be interesting to see if he buys a new TV or does without.

Chad will still be coming home on weekends so that makes his leaving a bit easier.

Did I cry when he left this morning?  What do you think?  Seriously, I could have without much effort but I didnt.  Vince is out of town so I’ve had another day to myself.  A day with music as loud as I want it and being able to use the bathroom downstairs.  Doesn’t take much to make me happy!



  1. 2

    Sandy says

    I remember those days. Crying before we even got out of town when we took our daughter to college the first time.

    Not to complain, but a mom does get better sleep when not sitting up waiting for the kids to come home. Our daughter was always on time (she takes after me, lol ) but our son was a little ornery. And this mom couldn’t sleep until her chicks were home in bed.

    It will be interesting to see if Chad gets a new television. Sometimes they find they don’t need it if mom and dad aren’t paying. Ask me how I know, lol.

  2. 3


    It is getting easier everytime you go through it, huh. Why is it you can’t use “his” bathroom? It is in YOUR HOUSE…..nuf said! I understand about letting him sleep and not disturbing him with sewing though.

  3. 4

    Linda says

    I talked with a friend this morning and she says it’s time her boy goes back to college before she kills him. I hope he survives the next week.

    It’s easy to make us quilters happy…..time alone with our machines and our fabrics will do it.

  4. 5


    A day to myself…I love those!
    I was sad when the oldest got married and left home(he’s not that far away and he works for us so I see him everyday). Now I find myself eyeing the 2nd sons bedroom as a sewing room…I feel a little quilty about that!
    I still have two to go but the 3rd son is getting married next spring and the youngest is going into 11th grade…I’m never truly alone unless they all go away for the day!

  5. 6


    Ah, we do get used to loved ones coming in and out of our lives. It still touches you, even if the tears don’t come quite so readily. Enjoy having that bathroom available and being able to quilt any time you want. I’m spoiled since it’s just me and the cats, till next weekend when the puppy comes home! I’m working on cleaning out the spare room so I can finally set up my sewing machine in there and sew right next to the bathroom! ;D

  6. 7

    Marilyn says

    Judy, I’m so with you on this one. Last year, I cried and carried on, like my daughter had died. This year, it was a swift kick to the pants and out the door she went! She is on her way back to Ohio from California. I left her in Colorado and waved good-bye with a smile on my face. Independence does strange things to a kid of 19! Still love her to death, but she is ready to fly the coop and I was ready to let her go this time 🙂

    And she won’t be home until Christmas and that’s ok with me too.

  7. 8


    It will get easier every time……we grow to like our routine and come to realize how much we altered our routines because of our kids (like you not being able to sew until Chad wakes up)!!! It’s nice NOT to have to do that any longer, isn’t it?

  8. 10


    I thought this year might be a little different than last year! Come June you will be trying to talk him into staying at school!

  9. 11

    peggy says

    So many of us sound the same. I went through this, most recently, in 1997. Now I’m at the other end of the spectrum. My husband retired last December. I never have the house to myself!

  10. 12


    Oh boy can I relate to this…from kindergarten to college & then the Army & off to Bosnia. The toughest? Seeing him drive off with a fully packed car & move to Alaska…been 3 years & he is living his dream. Just wish it wasn’t so far away! Bit we raise ’em to be independent & fly off on their own. We are all fortunate to have this good communication with them.

  11. 13

    Cindy B says

    My two stayed home while in college. I wanted them to stay at school! They followed the house rules and I made them very strict for college age kids to follow but still they stayed. DH and I thought we were going to have to move to a condo to get them to go. First real jobs did that though. One out of state, one out of town.

  12. 15

    Michelle Cyr says

    I wrote you during that hard time last year. You get use to having things your way once they are gone. I’m a mom to six and the youngest leaves tomorrow for college….I am so PSYCHED!!!! Hubby and I haven’t been alone for 30 years…I am so looking forward to it! No one to clean up after but him. ahhhh! But, hubby says he’s going to go into a depression for a few weeks after the girls leave…guess I’m not enough anymore…:( Me, I’m happy to have the house to myself and pet my fabric…I’m a very good mom really!

  13. 16

    Claudia W says

    Judy –

    I remember when you were going through the sadness of Chad leaving last year. I didn’t write to you, but I remember thinking…wait till next year! Once they’ve been gone awhile, we moms start to like them being gone and only seeing them on weekends or maybe not even that often. There just comes a time when they need to be more independent and Mother Nature seems to work it so that when that time comes we moms start to like them only being around once in awhile.

    My 2 girls are 35 and 32, and don’t live nearby anymore, but now I get to visit them and they come here with their babies, whom I adore adore adore! There are compensations eventually. claudia w

  14. 17


    So loud music and you get to sniffle and miss Chad without Vince looking at you sideways. He’s growing up Judy. My bet is that Vince caves in and busy him a TV. Hey, men are just boys with jobs.

  15. 18

    Linda says

    LOL…the amazing thing is that the kids don’t realize that our lives are just as shook up by them returning as theirs are! I love my kids, both grown, one married, one back at home…but I do love my space and time as well! Doesn’t take us long to get into new, comfortable routines does it!

  16. 19


    My DD left this summer as well………I had a love/hate thing going with the departure. In a way I was glad she was leaving, but I was also sad also that my baby was leaving…….I guess its a right of motherhood.

    I hear ya about the money thing……..they always try to shake the “tree” to see if there is any left……….anyway, doesn’t his roommate have a big screen tv in that tiny dorm room.

    I would have a problem with the bathroom thing…..the running up and down would sure get old…….plus who’s making the payment on the bathroom, that should buy me some rights.

    I hope you got a bunch of sewing done today.


  17. 20


    Wait until he graduates college and a year later moves back home. You talk about CRAMPING my style. Thank goodness it only lasted a couple of months. But we still love them don’t we???

  18. 21

    Angie says

    It’s bittersweet. I remember last year, and I wrote you that I still cry when my grown kid and grandkids drive down the road leaving our house. Now they are in their 40’s and I love having them here. The house is so quiet after they leave. My husband and I just stare at each other and then shuffle off to our normal routines once again. Savor each moment with Chad, even if you feel like some of it is intruding on your space—you may not realize the hours, days and months you have ahead of you for all that quilting, and yearn for these precious days as they are right this moment. Mixed blessings.

  19. 22


    A great post! I must confess, when I came home from my first year of university, I just assumed that my mother was thrilled to have me back!

    Perhaps I should try reminding her about this next time she tries to convince me to move back to Canada from England….

  20. 23

    Evelyn says

    Last year my little guy started kindergarten – 8:20 – 2:20 and it seemed like he was gone forever at first. After a few weeks home for the summer he started day camp from 9-5 and I was so relieved that he was busy and happy. NEXT summer he wants to go away with his friends for overnight week long camp a few hours away from here. This year 5 kids in his age group from here went and they all want to go back next year. It is amazing how quickly the time goes by and they really start developing their own lives/schedules and we adjust ours to work around theirs and somehow in the end, it all seems to work out just fine. Enjoy your space… until the Christmas break!

  21. 24

    Brenda says

    Well I thought I wouldn’t cry when Anthony left this weekend for his second year. I didn’t until last night, still hard not having him here. Jerry’s at his mom’s this afternoon. It’s really quiet around here this afternoon. But I know it’ll be OK and it’s the way it’s suppose to be. Keep your chin up and enjoy not having to keep things quiet while they sleep – I know I will.

  22. 25


    Yep, love to see them, love to see them go!

    We leave today for SD and the boys fly in tomorrow — can’t wait!!!