It's always a bittersweet day when my kids move out. I'm happy for them, but know it'll never quite be the same again. With this particular kid it is a definite shift in the dynamics of the family. Although Ella is the third eldest of the next group of siblings, she is the eldest in the ability to lead as an older sibling. She will be, and already is in many ways, the heir apparent to the throne of sibling hierarchy.
Christopher is our bridge - 6 years younger than Melissa and 6 years older than Shannon. He is truly the middle child - five are above him and five are below him. He is the only sibling who doesn't have a close in age brother or sister. He is the "Boss", as Ella nicknamed him. He was the first and still so far the only sports enthusiast of the siblings. He has never caused any serious trouble - at least that I know of so far. It's amazing the stories some of your kids think they should tell you long after it's happened.
We are grateful he will still be near by and will still be a PCA(personal care assistant) for the younger siblings who need his services and that he will be desperate for extra cash due to his high rent. Works for me. I loved to tell people when Chris was old enough to watch the kids by himself that I didn't know any adult that could handle these kids by themselves. They'd be overwhelmed. Now, of course, the screen did much of the babysitting, but he could G-tube feed Shannie by the time he was 10 and her seizures didn't seem to freak him out either - all of which he did while also keeping track of Chad, Callie, Christian, Ella and Jacob I might add.
He has a soft spot for Shannie, although his roughhousing with her when she was little freaked people out. I would always point out the humongous smile on her face as he as roughing her up. Callie won his heart as well. What he loves about her most, he often says, is that she doesn't care what people think of her. She just does what she wants. He always "makes" her give him a hug when they see each other for the first time.
He's been a little nostalgic the last week or so and joking about how he'll miss the constant noise and messes that come with this family. Melissa told him how she had to have the TV on all the time when she first moved out because she couldn't stand the quiet.
Letting go is what parenting is all about. I think I'm pretty good at it, but that doesn't mean it isn't still hard to do.