God I Love Being a Mom (Part II)



So…our “Baby” or “Stretch” as he is more commonly known around home is all tucked in at college and we’re officially Empty-Nesters.


 Big Rave at our digs this weekend!!!

I must laugh at the image of letting the house go to pot (er…perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase 🙂 ) when the kids go away instead of the parents!



Seriously though, it’s a major turn of the page but that’s what Life does…

If Kahlil Gibran hadn’t already written “On Children” in “The Prophet” I’d continue to wax poetic, but Kahlil pretty much said it all, didn’t he?

Thanks to all those who shared their kind words and wisdom on my previous post.




Somehow “Harry” my son’s stuffed lion since before he could talk and Bob Marley co-habited without incident these last few years.

Oh, and BTW, thanks to all my son’s childhood friends for carving their names into his leather headboard whenever they slept over!




Packing was majorly poignant.

Only for me of course, not for Stretch.



Pretty much all my comments were met with “Uh…Don’t think so Mom”


If I could only share his remark when I suggested he bring ‘dress shoes’ in case he had a date…


that could seriously jeopardize my skype-ing chances with him.

The boy IS funny, I’ll say that.



left behind



I’m guessing packing up boys for college is very different  (and faster) than sending off girls!?






“God I love being a Mom (Part I)” (from 2011)

Oh, and one more PS. – Son, if you’re reading this;





  1. Tears! This is why I cried through Toy Story III. I can only imagine what it is like in real life. xoxo P. S. I love the carving through the leather headboard!

  2. So perfect….so true. LOVE Harry…… save him (of course I knew you would), Stretch will want him some day.
    I only found out years after they left home, that my children, sons of the woman who brought the helmet law to our town, left theirs in the bushes at the end of the block every time they rode into town to meet their friend’s……..
    The good news is, now, as fathers of young children, their sons wear helmets……
    Enjoy going to pot….!

  3. I am relieved to see I am not the only one that is teary-eyed. And as I mentioned in my last comment–I am not even a Mom!! But I am my Mom’s child. Thank you for sharing this with us so beautifully, Slim.

  4. okay. I’ll share this with you, ONLY because I’m sure my kids do not read Slim Paley. (I don’t think) When my first went to college at Ole Miss I’ll never forget her lying her head down on the console (on a pillow) in the front seat while I was driving and I was stroking her hair. Some song came on the radio and I just burst into tears trying to clear my eyes and dry them at the same time so she wouldn’t see me crying. I looked down at her and she was doing the same thing. Wiping her tears away. Gosh I’m tearing up right now as I read this!!! Then 2 weeks later she called me from school and before I knew it out came a string of cuss words I had NEVER heard her say in her life (especially in front of me). I had actually cried for 2 weeks prior to this phone call. (She was complaining about having to walk from one end of the campus to the other) oh boo hoo. Believe me, I cuss all the time but not like that! That kinda ended that cry fest. What happened to my sweet inocent baby???? Anyway, on to 2nd and 3rd child. Off to college and out the doh. yippeeeeeeeee!!!
    Good luck sweet girl!!!

  5. by the way…..typical daughter number one could have gone to college ANYWHERE but chose Ole Miss cause the girls were cute and they all wore cute clothes. Thought you’d love that Slimmy! (she was right though)

  6. Send the helmet! Especially if it was for hockey! I was at the dentist for routine cleaning on Friday and the ’emergency’ before me was a young man who had been playing hockey at the local ice rink, where his two front teeth had just got knocked out! He was to leave for his first day of college the next day! And you were worried about the dress shoes! How about sending your baby off without his teeth! The young man was cool calm and collected – I am sure the Mom wasn’t!!!!
    Send the helmet!

  7. Yes, we do bend to send them forward. It has been so long since I read The Prophet–must go find my copy. How ironic, I think that my daughter–so much bending and launching with that one–borrowed it last year. Sharing your mother’s heart.

  8. I’m just starting that journey, due this winter. It must feel wonderful, like a job well done, to have seen him off! Congratulations!

  9. Tears for me too as I get ready for one last trip to Ikea Montreal. Senior year and living in a single…..a long way and another cold snowy winter for an LA girl. Oh why hadn’t I pushed more for UCSB? Just what is the siren call of McGill? (drinking age 18?)
    You’ve helped me set my mind straight for these precious last days with her before I leave.
    Thank you for that, Slim.

    And yes the packing (and unpacking) takes longer. And we bought “Boo” to cuddle.

  10. Hi Slim. I loved re-reading the Kahlil Gibran poem. I am also an empty nester along with several friends & I must say it is very bittersweet. Where did the time go? We are all trying to
    adjust & figure out our next move. On to new adventures!
    Good luck to “Stretch.” I have a feeling Harry might move to your bedroom!

  11. I can just picture you “suggesting” he take his dress shoes”! Too funny! He will be back and probably grab some of the things he left at home..whatever he thinks is cool that is!

    I have always loved that poem!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

  12. One son off and the other to go. I completely understand you and can totally relate to this post. I am only allowed to contact with questions in order to get a reply.

  13. Slim;
    Well I cried through the poem, I will be going through the first college episode next year, but I just loved that past comment about the helmet, that is soo like boys.. he will miss you I know that..

  14. Hi,
    This post speaks to me as I am in the exact same place in my life, I have 3 boys. I too suggest they take items that I think might be needed and get the same reaction (dress shoes). I then get flash backs of being that age and my mom speaking to me. How did I get this age and when did my boys all grow up? I had not seen the poem before and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I have posted it to my pinterest board as well as I am going to print it and put it on my memo board by my desk. Thank you for sharing it. I am sure if your son had taken his helmet he would tell you he was wearing it so you would not worry, but he probably wouldn’t be. I know mine would not wear his. Have a great day.

  15. He will be back for the bear….my son’s “Ted E Bear Burns” was asked for when he had his first son….I still remember when he saw it after I had moved and you could see the sigh of relief across his face that Ted was still around….that is a precious memory…another thing about college boys…they don’t call home much, (I think it’s a mental trying to cut the apron strings kind of thing…so make a rule that you will send $ once a month after he calls to “remind” you….my girlfriend told me that and it worked!!! Then after they have kids they will call you everyday….

  16. Love that book by Kahlil Gibran, have my dusty copy downstairs and we read excerpts pertinent to love and marriage when we married in 1974. His thoughts on children are spot on.
    Bittersweet times sending your son off to college, I think perhaps he left Harry for you to take care of, because he knew you’d be lonely.
    Take care Slim.

  17. Be happy he left Harry. You will need him more than your son! LOVED the names left on the leather headboard!

  18. You have brought tears to my eyes! I am a year away from this, but have many friends in your boat right now. My son sounds just like your stretch! The pics are even similar-right down to the Bob Marley poster and the board shorts he’s wearing. I love the names on the headboard and we have our version of Harry as well. I wish you the very best with this huge transition~know that you have accomplished a job well done! Eventually, I’m sure he will be back for both the dress shoes and Harry! Good luck Mom! Warm blessings to you~Angie

  19. We have a grandchild now, but we also still have Boo Boo Bunny and Biggie Bunny saved from so long ago. Happy memories from then, making new happy memories now. The wheel just turns and keeps turning.

  20. I will not be sending kids off to college for a while .. that being said I know that “while” is just around the corner. Just think of it this way … it is one more place for you to go and visit and then we get the crib notes and the amazing photos on the trip here!

  21. You’re KILLING me, Slim. We have the luggage and the space-saver bags all partially packed. She’s taking the dog for a few “last walks” and she and her brother are speaking in softer tones to one another. The cat is suddenly sleeping with her, as if he knows that his cuddles with her are numbered. Snow Doggy (her Harry) will be the last thing she throws in her carry-on – she most definitely wants him to see Scotland. And I am doing pretty good with all of it until I read your post… (must share the poem).

  22. Oh how sweet, true and endearing! We are still a few years from college, and being that we live near several excellent schools nearby (NYU, Columbia) and schools for really every level, I am strongly trying to bribe and cajole my oldest into staying close to home. I hope your son has a wonderful college experience. Now tell us, what will be happening now at Casa Paley now that the youngest has flown the nest?

  23. Hi there! Just dropped off my fourth child at college yesterday!! Loved your post!!
    Still have one starting high school to keep me on my toes…I keep sitting in her clean room
    kinda sad but then I reminded myself of the quote I put in her yearbook…”
    the art of living does not consist of preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness but in allowing happiness to change it’s form without being dissappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.” Charles Morgan

  24. So beautiful! I’ve never read that poem by Gibran and so enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 enjoy the empty nest.

  25. You are doing so GREAT!! Love the photos – they tell the story so well (the lonely guitar threatened to make me teary!)

    I was a MESS this time last year as my baby left. So, good for you!! And we also have a Harry…Lambie. It was so cute how my son was very clear that the reason he was leaving Lambie at home was so he wouldn’t get “damaged or STOLEN”. : ) Stolen? More like kidnapped/tortured by fraternity brothers – if only they knew! He still sleeps by Lambie when he visits home. : )

    Btw, of all the blogs I read, you have THE neatest group of readers/commentators. Of course your posts are always a highlight, and then I so enjoy all the witty/smart/kind comments!

    • “Btw, of all the blogs I read, you have THE neatest group of readers/commentators. Of course your posts are always a highlight, and then I so enjoy all the witty/smart/kind comments!”

      Thank you Phyllis- I agree!

  26. S.P. – What a nice way to start a lazy Sunday morning…. with TEARS!!!

    I will have the complete experience of sending off a boy (now a junior at U of O) and a girl (currently a junior in high school) – I believe your supposition is spot on!

    Since my #1 Son does not read your comments (or posts) I can share, that after returning from our road trip to Eugene I went into his room. Spotted the rumpled covers of his bed and jumped spread eagle onto them and drew in one deep breath.

    Which triggered a sobbing fit.

    Hoping you notified Amazon to expect a run on Kahlil Gibran…..

  27. What a great post! Brought back memories of my son leaving for college (he’s 30 now!)
    I have to say that it was a happy day! I had totally redecorated his room within 2 weeks–hey, he had his own apartment at school! Love the poem and haven’t read it in years. Enjoy your empty nest; you earned it!

  28. My favorite Stretch moment was not that so very long ago, but one that is indelible in my mind: all his little classmate were running around a small room, and Stretch’s Mama asked him to come over and sit on her lap. He sat on your lap and you both snuggled for several minutes. Stretch loved his Mom, and didn’t care who saw it.
    Stretch is now off in the world, but not far. Skyping and texting is pretty amazing when you think back even 10 years ago.

  29. There is a wonderful song recorded by Sweet Honey and the Rock of the Gibran piece on children…check it out, it’s beautifully done.

  30. So touching! No one seems to understand the feeling of “loss” when their “child” goes off to college. One son is 31, tears were certainly shed when he left, but I still had one at home and 10 years younger. Over time I certainly appreciated the age gap. Just returned from settling him (the 21 yr old) in an apartment for his senior year on campus. I smiled when a young very attractive girl asked him to move his car as he was in her designated parking place. He made me move the car….oh so embarrassing…him or me, not sure???
    Yes, time marches on and I keep waiting for the adventure(s) to begin…]

    Thank you for the wonderful poem.

  31. Yes, tears in my eyes, too. I am so moved by the experiences of you moms. God’s blessings, frustrations (and every other emotions I could conger) but most of all love that only a child can bring. I admire you, one and all.
    xoxo, Chris

  32. love that bear thing is it a lion? I know this is a Nana thing to say but it goes too fast. How is my baby 18 months already??? HOW?? Meanwhile Spring is here. Goody x

  33. Sweet Slim, how fabulously you have written of all of our time in the archer’s field together….
    I think Harry is getting visits from Gooshy and Ellie at this very moment…here’s to the ‘about to be full of other delights’ nest….thanks always for sharing. love u…..xoM

  34. Oh yes. This was perfect timing for me as I just got home from dropping off my youngest at college too. Hmmm…. a few similarities – We also have handwritten name on a leather chair in our family room that our daughter wrote when she was 4 (and the chair was a week old)…- left behind stuffed animals….-a guitar left under the bed (as it wouldn’t fit in the car.) And yes, I think girls do take longer to pack and bring much more STUFF!
    Good luck with with the transition. I am going through it too and have to get busy, busy.
    Thanks for the Kahlil Gibran poem, but I will read it later when I am close to a tissue box. xo

  35. Aww poor Harry and Slim:(

    Time to enjoy your empty nest.

    Go Stretch! Not sure if you read your Mom’s blog, but be good and stay in touch! …and buy a new helmet

  36. Sweet Slim,
    Our baby just left our nest too…the last of five.
    His smile was HUGE…which helped my heavy heart.
    Sending thanks to YOU and Kahlil Gibran for such parental wisdom.
    Let’s party!

  37. So bittersweet! I remember the day I left for college. My dog chewed up everything I had that said UNT – she was not ready to be an empty nest dog.

    Love the poem too, btw. As someone who’s just starting to plan a family of her own, it’s a beautiful thing to keep in mind.

  38. Loved this poem. What a precious post. I am not looking forward to this time with my sons. It sounds like you did a great job with him though. I loved the sour patch kids post on part I.

  39. Love the Molson Canadian hockey bag! Must bring one back on my next visit to Canada for the grandsons.

  40. Your post struck me – tears in my eyes…darn – I have been trying to control myself – been having overly emotional reactions to others emotions (wait – aren’t those symptoms of menopause?…) – I still have a few years left with my girls at home (one in 11th and one in 9th) but I get a lump in my throat as I watch friends send their children off to college as I know my turn will come before I know it. Such a good reminder to enjoy these years – even though some days I want to wring their pretty little necks. Pour all your attention and free time into your blog so we get more of you!!!

  41. I have sent two BOYS off to college…………dosnt get any easier!There is no preparing yourself for the lack of ruckus,wet towels on beds,shoes in living room or empty laundry baskets!I’m still having a hard time and they both have graduated from COLLEGE!

  42. All I can say is that when they come home… now that is the best feeling in the world… I am having dinner with my three tonight ( I have flown to London just to be in the same city on the same night) and to say that I am excited to have them all together is an understatement.. it so rarely happens now… everyone is off doing their own thing…
    It is a new era Slim… but it is also a fantastic one… Thinking of you… xv

  43. Taking dress shoes in case you have a date, must be similar to the reaction I got from my son when I told him I found a really cute “outfit” I thought he would like!….Mom…I don’t wear outfits….kids.

  44. I love Harry. He makes me think of my “hot-doggie-doggie” that I loved as a child. I took him to every show and tell at school for years. Mom unfortunately threw him out in a fen shui attack before it was cool.

  45. Hi Slim,
    You are hilarious, as always, but the lion made me cry! I just spoke with my “baby” today, on his 25th birthday, and realized I can remember every minute of the day he was born. Scheduled C-Section, 3rd, so not the pain! It goes so fast, but when you are in it, not fast enough at times! Although I had 3 just a few months apart. Two girls proceeded him and believe me, you got off scott free in the packing and shopping arena.:) Oh nostalgia, so serindipitous that I decided to search out your blog today, of all days! Pinterest has jammed my inbox so full that I can’t find ANYTHING! Thank you for your fabulously funny, yet poignantly philosophical views on children! Just what the Dr. ordered, I think I might have a Rave too as my my spirits are so lifted now! I have really missed you! Take care and turn up Bob Marley! 🙂

Would love to hear from you!