Where does the time go?

Jack graduated from high school today. Our last born, the only son, the baby of the family. When our girls graduated I found comfort that although I was sad about them growing up, at least I still had Jack at home.

first day of kindergarten

first day of senior year

After 8 years of having Katie active in band, I was happy that Jack was also in band and I didn’t have to say goodbye to football games and band concerts quite yet. When Cassie graduated and moved out, I knew we still had Jack to keep us active in community theater. I had one kid left to watch onstage. We still had time.

We are out of time now. No more kids left in school. No more “at last we still have…”. This is so final. Today’s graduation ceremony was the hardest for me. It was hard not to have my mom there too. This is our first family event without her and I felt the loss. Unlike his sisters, Jack will not have a cap and gown picture with my mom.

Tonight is our last night at the Howell house together. Tomorrow he moves into his apartment and in less than a week we move too. Katie came down for the weekend so we have her here tonight with us. We have a few boxes to finish packing and then we’ll get pizza and watch a movie.

I look at them and I’m trying not to cry. I am picturing them when they were little. In their cute pajamas, asking to stay up late and watch a movie with us. Eating popcorn and snuggling with their blankies. It all goes so fast!

preschool graduation


high school graduation

We’ve done what we set out to do. Raise happy, smart, independent kids. THEY are all excited about their new lives, WE are excited to be empty nesters and get on with out next chapter too.  This is what every parent wants.

But tonight, at this moment I am remembering when they were little and this seemed so far away. When the 5 of us had years of bedtime routines and tuck ins ahead of us. When I used to read Jack a bedtime story, usually “Are you My Mother” and snuggle with him after. He would giggle and say “Mom- this is a one sleeper. You have to sleep with dad!”. And he would clutch Pup, his little blue stuffed dog and I would kiss his cute little forehead and say goodnight.

How is it possible he is all grown up and moving into his own place already?  He will ALWAYS be my baby.  {Even though he reminds me all the time that he is grown up}. I’m always going to worry about him, whether we lived in the same house or 2.5 hours away that wouldn’t change.  He may be a big, tough firefighter to others.  But it my eyes he is just my little Jack Jack, waiting for his bedtime story.



2 thoughts on “Where does the time go?

  1. Empty nest after three as well. Moving to Tawas. Son is also a firefighter. Two grandkids. But how can my son have 2 children when he’s still 8?! I must have blinked. The days go by slow but the years go by fast. Continued thoughts and prayers over the loss of your Mother. Our eldest is 33 and lives in VA. I still cry when he leaves.


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