God knew…that is the only way I can describe His unbelievable love and trust of my emotions,
my feelings and my heart as a mama, God knew.
He knew that moving my oldest son in on Friday would require too much thought, too much planning and too many folks.
Instead He gave us our own day, all by ourselves on the fifth floor of the dorm, just the six of us.
Bailey called that afternoon. The coaches wanted him to move in. He was packed. He was ready. I wasn't so sure, but we persevered.
In another hour we stared down two bunk beds, four shelves, two dressers, two desks and for all world felt like we were playing Jenga, except the pieces were a whole lot heavier.
Finally we arrived at what appeared to be a reasonable fit, or at least the freshman was happy and we started to unpack.
The duvet, the pillows, all the things we had been shopping for and stored all summer were out of the packages and on mattresses and shelves. It was handsome, it was him. He would sleep well, but he would be sleeping alone.
I noticed he seemed excited so I tried hard not to let my anxiety show. I trust Bailey, that wasn't it; no it was seeing a part of my heart dance before me out from under my wing. It felt strange, it felt foreign and I had not yet learned the language.
We decided we had enough time for dinner before we returned home as a family of six, less one.
We found a beautiful sunny table in the cafeteria and tried the sustenance that would sustain my son for the next four years.
It was lovely. I was hoping I was just hungry as my tummy was flip flopping all over the inside of me, yet food did not help.
We took a long walk across the campus to my car. The baby, Ava held her brother's hand. I explained that he would be staying. She looked at me as with the same feeling I had in my heart, completely and utterly confused. She said nothing, unusual for the Hill women, so I repeated my statement.
She looked at me, then looked at her hero and said, "all by self???"
Ava has little use for pronouns. Bailey held her a little closer and explained this was his new school.
Again, Ava said, "All by self?" And a piece of my heart fell out somewhere on the sidewalk.
I woke the next morning and took a walk, longer than usual; God and I had a lot to talk about.
In truth, I was thrilled for Bailey. In truth, I absolutely loved his dorm room, his campus, and his zest for his new environs. But Ava's words singed every corner of the thin little paper heart that rested in my chest; he was "all by self."
I asked God to protect him, to love him, to be so real to him that the loneliness, if it came, would not be fierce and to bring him friends that would love him dearly.
I am a woman with a list, and my list was suspiciously absent.
We had shopped, packed, moved and kissed goodbye. There was nothing on my list,
but I was not done teaching, loving and directing.
I know this about me, me and my unending list making.
I returned home, opened the Word and this verse was the pulpit behind which the Holy Spirit chose to stand,
Oh Beloved, my presence was now removed, the Father's remained and what a better teacher, parent, lover of my son's soul could I ask for?
He instilled me with joy.
This is what every parent strives for - the spreading of the wing, the untying of the apron strings,
the release of a little hand into the Father's grasp. Oh the Joy.
I prayed unending blessings for my son because the Father had given me permission to ask.
Yes, God knew.