Gratituesday: The Beginning of the Next Chapter


So it’s for real. Our oldest son has moved out and is living in a dorm. I learned that one can prepare for it and know it’s coming, but when it really does – well now that is something else.

asa dorm 1

asa dorm 2

Some of the mothers (okay fine, only me) were crying like babies in the registration line. Well c’mon. If all the people would have stopped being so nice and just looked at me with emotionless, cold eyes saying, “here is a pen. sign this form.” it would have been much better. Instead, they were all, “Oh here you are! Big changes for your family, huh? How are you doing with this, Mama?” Seriously. All the nice people were so mean. They made me cry. They are so heartless. (Love them.)

It wasn’t so much the fact that I knew I would miss him (even though I already do). I mean, he has been gone most of the summer so I’m used to being away from him. And good grief, he now lives a grand total of five minutes from our house and we’ve already seen him at church. My tears came from a place of joy mingled with sadness as I look back on the last 18 years.

This is the kid who made me a mother. Our family grew to include four brothers – all of whom have shared a room, shared the love of sports, shared hobbies, shared books, shared inside jokes, shared games, shared music, shared their school hours, shared so much over the years. This isn’t the end of the world – but it is the end of the lovely, beautiful, delightful chapter of life that has been The Coppinger6 for so many precious years.

The next chapter is sure to hold even more amazingness. I know it’s true. But I always cry at the end of a good chapter of a book. The same goes for this.

Remember our “back to school” tradition? For the past 10 years, we’ve made school supply lists and headed to the store together, then splurged on lunch out afterward. I’ve taken a picture of them with their baskets in the aisle since 2008. Would you just look at these sweet little boys? (More yearly pictures here if you want to take a walk down memory lane.)


Silly as it was, I asked if we could do it one more time before Asa moved out. None of the boys even really needed any school supplies. Sweeties that they are, they posed by the crayons for their sappy mom.

boys school shopping 2015

I told them afterward that I’d decided that this wasn’t our final year of doing this. We’re going to keep doing this, year after year, until the entire aisle is filled with my daughers-in-law and all my grandbabies. Yep. This is written in stone. The tradition must continue. This means, of course, that they must all settle with their families right here in York. All of them. Their wives will love this. None of this is unrealistic.

So the next chapter has begun. Asa is all settled in and consumed this week with three soccer practices and work-outs every day. Classes begin next week. He’s doing great.

asa soccer 2015

There he is, at one of his first soccer practices. This picture was courtesy of my friend, the coach’s wife. Receiving this picture via text sure was a fun gift the night after he moved in!

We look forward to watching God at work in our kids as we begin this new chapter. And now I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this Gratituesday. :)


  1. says

    Aww how sweet! I’m grateful for being able to spend time with my kids this morning at the Domes! It was a lot of fun! And for a husband who loves me and who is committed to sticking through it all.


  2. says

    I’m tearing up with you as I’m reading the details. Yes, 5 minutes but, oh, not under the same roof. These moments make the chest swell with excitement and the heart with swell with the missing that will be now be there . I’m doing it with another of my boys tomorrow. <3 But, I am grateful for all the years we schooled together and all of the shared memories!


  3. says

    I can so relate. My oldest left for school in a town a six hour drive from here when he was eighteen, up until then I´d had him at home for most of the time.
    I remember crying over the fact that I wouldn´t be able to be there to protect him, then realizing that he was fully capable of doing that himself. That made me cry even more. :)

    My three youngest (four boys, just like you) are still home, but in two years the next oldest is to go…


  4. nny says

    Grateful for you and for your ministry here! Also grateful that today I’ll have some “grown-up” work outside the home with some volunteer training at school but still be home to meet my kidlets off the bus (with one of your PB cake treats). AND — last but not least — grateful for my mom on her birthday: among her other wonderful influences, she and women of her generation paved the way so I can have my many choices. God is good!


  5. says

    I said a quick prayer for you when I saw the soccer picture – and then I read a friend sent it to you. I was afraid you were stalking him. Lucky you can still get them to take a picture! I had to promise NOT to post it on facebook so I could get a first day of school picture. I think it has something to do with their mom taking lots of pictures for the newspaper. So thankful for another generation to have an amazing experience at York College.


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, me showing up at his first practice would have been going a litttttle bit overboard. :) But it sure was sweet for his coach’s wife to think of me. Yay to be a fly on the wall!


  6. Andrea says

    Literally swallowing back my tears!! I hate this. And I love this. I feel bipolar! I hate watching my girls growing up – oldest is now a junior in hs. I dread the day she leaves home (doesn’t matter that I’ll still have 5 other kids at home!) But yet I love seeing her change into a young woman. And then I see a young mom with 3 girls and a baby boy walking through Target, and I’m thrown back to when that was me – 3 girls and a baby boy… And I want to go back to that time and relive it. Better. Motherhood sure is a crazy whirlwind of emotions and memories and joy and heartache. But I’m blessed to be in it!!????


  7. Phyllis says

    Laura, I read your post and cried with you. What a beautiful way to put it: “My tears came from a place of joy mingled with sadness as I look back on the last 18 years.” I well remember the feeling.

    My gratitude at this moment is for YOU, sharing your heart and your happiness (and your humor!) with all of us, your readers!


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