Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A letter to Will

Dear Will,

I am writing this letter to you the evening before you leave for college. You are my last child to leave for college and while I am so excited for you, it is hitting me a little harder than when your sisters left. Now that's not because I didn't love your sisters....but when they left there was still a child or two here.

I am not finished raising you. This day got here too soon. There are a million things going through my head (and heart) that I think I should still teach you or at least tell you. Bear with me while I type up a few of them.

1. I hope you remember to pray. You will have some scary days, some sad days, and even some extremely happy days in the years ahead. Turn to God in prayer....for strength, for guidance and even to thank him. You will hear him best in moments of take some time for silence every day.

2. Try to eat healthy. You have always loved fruit and vegetables so I'm not too worried about you ....but eating most of your meals in a cafeteria, you may be tempted to eat a lot of pizza. Just throw in an apple now and then.

3. Be kind to your roommates. Treat them like you want to be treated. Clean up after yourself. Pick your things up off the floor. Hang your towel up. Rinse your toothpaste out of the sink.

4. Go to class. Listen and take notes. Re-write and re-read those notes. Study. Teach yourself. Even if it's not a subject you care will feel good about the good grade. Think to yourself....I am smart. I can learn anything.

5. Do not have sex. Ever. If you do, it should be in a loving relationship. And always use protection. Always. Every time. Every single time.

6. Make lots of friends but choose them wisely.

7. Do your laundry at least every other week. Cold/Cold. Extra Large Load.

8. Stay true to yourself but allow yourself to change and grow.

9. Please don't get any more tattoos. I heard they're going out of style.

10. Don't text and drive. Actually don't do anything else and drive. Just drive when you're driving.

11. It's not legal to drink alcohol until you're 21. NOT LEGAL.

12. Don't get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Call a cab. We'll reimburse you.

13. Finish college. You are not allowed to quit. However, you will have a time get busy.

Now, a few things I want to tell you again.....

1. You are my direct hit from God. He knew I needed a third child and a son.....even when it wasn't on my list.

2. You are funny.

3. You are handsome.

4. You are kind.

5. You are smart.

6. You give the best hugs.

7. Thanks for being a good kid (except that ONE incident...which I know you will never do again). You have been a joy (except that ONE incident....which I know you will never do again) .

8. Thanks for teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School with me. Those will always be some of my favorite memories of time you and I spent together.

9. You are extremely talented...especially with your photography...but I suspect what we have seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

10. You will be successful at anything....I hope you find your passion.

So tomorrow, if I cry, just let me cry. I am looking forward to your new beginning but first we must get through this ending.

I love you. Mama


  1. Awww...can I move in?
    I love your list and I should follow a few of those rules myself!

    And I was getting choked up just reading your list, so by all means bawl like a baby if you have to.

    Peace - Rene

  2. Ok Julia, go ahead and cry. You are allowed. Will, will be fine. you have been a great Mom! Remember to intrust him to God.
    Will, as your adopted Aunt I say, listen to your Mom. She is VERY wise and life is long and you have plenty of time to do all the stuff you are in such a hurry to do. Keep your focus on the future and what you are planning to do with it. Have fun and don't take everything to serious and get stressed out. pst...If you need someone to sigh for another tat you can call me :) and last and most importantly CALL YOUR MOM!

  3. Awww, I hope the day went well. Good advice from the heart. I am also the baby of the family and was the last one out of the nest. I remember my first night at college, lining my drawers with shelf liner and tearing up wondering if my mom was doing okay without me.

  4. Now you have made me CRY! WAAAAA p.s. Beautiful and touching letter to your son. Thank you for sharing it with us. Will is a very blessed boy, to have such a GREAT mama!! :) p.s.s. Just so you know.....he will be fine.


  5. I'm crying too now! You did however, somehow steal my list for my kids.
    I thought I was reading my own mail! So glad to see there are other moms out there that really parent their children with love, vision and faith.

    May He bless you for your work.

  6. Oh my gosh, can I just change the name and give this to my son (third to leave) in a year?! Perfect. In fact, I may just show #1 for a reminder. :)

    Good luck

  7. Someone please hand me a Kleenex!

  8. I hope these last few days haven't been too difficult. When my children left home I cried and then a wise friend said to me I must have done a fine job raising them otherwise they wouldn't have the courage to take on the world. Yes, they will stumble, but the love and support you provide will help them get back up and carry on. Enjoy this time with your husband - remember summer comes more quickly when they are in college:)

  9. I'm with Linda! I got him the book 30 Things You Need to Know Right Now and didn't send it because everything I read in it I knew that you and Chuck had taught him. I guess I'll cry when the baby and the elderly are gone but empty-nesting sounds rather enjoyable. I know, you NEVER stop worrying or questioning your job. I can tell you, from the outside looking in, y'all have done a fantastic job with all three kids. I used to say, "If you've got two kids and one's not in jail you are a success". It stopped being funny a few years ago. Back to you...three beautiful children and another life change to get used to it. I'm sure you hate hearing that you are strong, or like me, wish you didn't have to be, but you are. And those kids have been raised in a great intact family. Now just sit back and rest until the grandkids start rolling in!

  10. You are such an amazing mom, it's inspiring!