Having a son graduating this year has made it really busy around the Morgan house. Our oldest son, Taylor, is in his “last” few days of high school before he graduates in two weeks. I’ve been handling it okay, but Lea hasn’t done as well. In fact I’ve noticed that every time someone mentions the word “Taylor” and “last” in the same sentence, Lea tears up.

This past weekend Taylor had one of his “last” senior parties, and then yesterday at church we honored the 15 seniors who attend church with us. Here are a few of the pictures from “last” weekend (sorry Lea)…

Lea and I would sure love some wisdom on how to handle things when your first child leaves home. Got any you’re willing to share?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
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  1. Kim says:

    Beautiful pictures. I remember so vividly going through the first set of “lasts” with our oldest son and just trying to stay so busy that I didn’t cry all the time. But once you get through it you realize how many “firsts” you still have ahead of you with your children and the excitement that comes with all the new “firsts”.
    Hang in there!

  2. Stoogelover says:

    Great pictures! Even got one with Lea sans tears. If you have a great relationship with your children (as it appears you do!), then it’s just another chapter in your life and their lives and those chapters are filled with wonder and excitement and joy and frustration and fear and anxiety … pretty much like life before that first one ever leaves home! You love them and walk through it with them … only at a bit of a distance. From this point on, you stand more on the sidelines than in the center. But the sidelines are not a bad place to be … you’re still an integral part of the game. And that’s all the wisdom / insight I can cough up for one morning until I have a couple of mixed drinks (splash of Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke).

  3. Belinda says:

    I don’t have experience in this area yet but I am hoping that all you parents out there that are going through this emptying the nest can form a support group and help me when I get there. I only have 2 more years. I have boys as well and love them dearly, so I understand the tears. You tell leah tears are ok. Hang in there this is just the next chapter.more to follow…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ha Ha…I guess I’m some what famous now.

  5. Jeanne M. says:

    No wisdom, but when we took Lisa’s mother to LCC (now LCU) and left her standing outside the dorm watching us drive away, I thought her father was going to turn around and tell her to get back in the car. Fortunately for her, she managed quite well, gaining a diploma and a christian husband while in Lubbock. It helped us that the next year we moved there to attend Sunset School of Preaching.

  6. Brie says:

    Ha. And I’m sitting here sniffly because Noah’s about to start school…IN THREE MORE YEARS!

    We average attending five or so graduations a year. We’re not big, but our kids are spread out, and we think that if a youth minister doesn’t go to his kids’ graduations that it is a sad, sad thing. I’m considering telling this year’s juniors that they all need to transfer so I can just suffer through the unofficial graduation anthems of “Time of Your Life” and that stinkin’ “Friends Forever” song by Vitamin C only once next year.

    Seriously. Do they have to play that at EVER graduation?

    I’ve heard enough commencement speeches already that I could do the positive wah-hoo of “end of one phase, beginning of another thing” pretty well. It definitely is that, but who wants to hear that when you’re sad about your first baby leaving?

    I would say…keep doing all the parenting things that you’ve been doing insofar as it is possible to do so from a distance. Lay in stores for the weekends that your son comes home starving because no one cooks like his Momma. Buy extra laundry soap for the times he will be home. Take a few extra walks together to burn off the stress and talk. Cry when you need to, but realize that even if he’s moving out he will always need his parents in a different way than he needs anybody else.

    Oh, and play graduation bingo to get through commencement if you need to. Distraction is a marvelous thing sometimes.

  7. Brandon Price says:

    So I don’t really have words of wisdom to offer (I’ve still only left home…hadn’t had anyone leave yet).

    I thought I would go ahead and share what my sister said after I had been gone a month or so. “So mom still sets your place at the table every night and calls you for dinner.”

    My mom later confessed she sometimes would go into my bedroom, lay on my bed and think about all the years I spent in that room.

    I guess you can tell Lea that it’s okay to go a little crazy when your kids leave home.

  8. RAN says:

    This thought is for Lea…..yes, it’s hard when they leave. We have already lived through that stage of life. And we found the years ahead of high school, to be the most difficult, not the teenage years. The biggest decisions of their lives were made in those few years….what college? what degree? getting married? jobs? having children?…..BIG stuff, but you will be there to guide. I have one thing to tell you….to watch for. You will never, ever forget the hugs that Taylor will give you, when he comes home to visit. The best hugs of your life are in your near future. I’ll wait for a report on it in the next few months! My daughter shared her feelings and homesickness with words, my son shared them in huge bear hugs when he came home to visit. You’ll know what I mean, when you receive one of them!

  9. TREY MORGAN says:

    Wow, I have loved the wisdom that has oozed out of these comments. I’m anxious to share them with Lea.

  10. Anonymous says:

    From Trey’s mom – When you left for Sunset School of Preaching, we went out to say last goodbye’s, you were taking a load fo your things down to Lubbock, your Dad cried a little, I didn’t, I only said “hey, he’s coming back tomorrow for another load.” But Taylor being my partner
    in crime, and my honorary role of being in his club in kindegarten, all the things we did together, my fun playmate leaving home and growing up, I’ve already been crying inside for a month or two. His pictures nearly did me in. I need real photos. He is so wonderful. Best advice, enjoy those other three. You know now how fast they grow up. You’ll make it. We all do even when we think we can’t. Don’t let Lea know how my insides are hurting. She and I have shared many things. I’m just very happy and content that Taylor is such a fine young Christian man and that he has chosen to go to the A.I.M. program and learn more about God and then go to do mission field. He will be wonderful
    like his Dad and Mom.

  11. willow says:

    I must agree with Ran and Trey’s Mom…. what wonderful advice.

    but along with the hugs be sure you have a supply of kleenex especially for the “see ya soon” hug.

    if i could add any valuable advice, i would just say that for me it really helped to remember when i was that age and the feeling of independence it gave me. What a wonderful age to be!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Trey, I know I have always enjoyed seeing my kids move on because of seeing them be who God has made them to be. The molding has been done for years, now just sit and enjoy the struggles, joys, victory’s, blessings, burdens,…. etc. Not much different than seeing them everyday really,(lol) just you won’t know as much about what is going on in their lives. Just enjoy seeing that great son of your be who God wants him to be. I understand what you are going thru brother. Hug Lea and let her cry on your shoulder then trade places with her…… then watch him sprout those wings. Remember….YOU ARE LOVED!

  13. kim says:

    As you well know I have not been through this yet. I am so afraid of the teenage years that I can’t even begin to wonder what the next step will be like.

    But… having gone through everything that Taylor is about to go through, maybe I can tell you what I would’ve liked in his place. Be available. Call, send goodies in the mail, and visit. Even though he is moving on and growing up he still needs you. Your family has been a haven and foundation for him, he still needs strength from you as he learns to go it alone. Notice and praise the changes that God is about to make in his life, they will be so big for him.

    I can’t believe that Taylor is graduating. I am so glad for the path that he has chosen in his life. Your mom is absolutely right, he is going to be wonderful just like mom and dad. God promised that if you taught him right then Taylor would do right. Ultimately God is Taylor’s father, He will be watching out for him wherever he goes!!

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. AncientWanderer says:

    Try not to cry when they are looking.
    That’s about all I got for that one.

  16. Adam Clark says:

    I just have one thing to say, as a current college student.


    Send him lots and lots of mail.

    Care packages, letters, and MONEY. It’s such a blessing!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Is that Taylor’s way of smiling? Seems like a serious kid. I’m sure he is going to do great. Serious kids are normally focused on life and trying to succeed. His look reminds me of someone that is so focused on playing the part that he doesn’t want to make any mistakes and he doesn’t want to disappoint.

    Did he grow up a PK?

    I don’t mean any of this in a negative way. I see myself in Taylor and all I’m basing that on is the way he looks at the camera.

  18. Jeanne says:

    When I see Taylor he looks like someone who is comfortable with himself and his life. He looks like a great guy who will do wonderfully at whatever he finds himself doing. To me he looks secure and confident in the love of his mother and father, and his Heavenly Father. Congratulations to him and to both of you.

    As far as advice, we have taken all three of ours to college, given two boys to wives, and will give our “baby” girl away in marriage in just three weeks. I don’t think you ever stop crying and I don’t think that is a bad thing. My tears have always been filled with joy, pride, sorrow, and wonder at how richly God has blessed my life with these amazing people I am privileged to call my children. Let the tears flow, they cleanse the soul and know that they are always your children no matter how old they get. They will always need your love, support, and encouragement, just in new and exciting ways. I loved all my children as “children”, but as adults, they are some of our closest friends! There always has to be a “last” to have a new “first”. Just wait until you hold your first grandchild! Like I said, the tears never stop, but the mixture of all they represent is a testament to the richness of your family.

    Jeanne Priest (Van’s wife)

  19. jamie riley says:

    Hey bro, I don’t have any wisdom to share with you…but I will be praying for you, Lea, Taylor and the rest of your family.

    I know God is going to use Taylor in powerful ways…what an exciting thought!

    Great post…

  20. TREY MORGAN says:

    Taylor loves being Taylor. He’s never serious about anything. He loves playing the clown or entertainer of whatever group he is part of. He’s got his mother’s looks and his dad’s personality (I’m not sure that was the best thing).

    He was making faces in most of these pictures and we asked him to please “look nice” for them. :)

    I have loved the wisdom here. So many good thoughts and words. Lea and I enjoyed reading through them together.

  21. johndobbs says:

    Wonderful pictures. I thought adolescence was that process through which the parent becomes fully ready for their child to leave the nest! You have such great kids … glad I got to meet ’em! Thanks for sharing your family celebration with us!

  22. Bob Bliss says:

    If you have cell phones on a family plan, make sure he has one (it’s usually only $10 a month). Make him pay for it and make him call you every Sunday afternoon. Otherwise he loses it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Trey and Lea – I promise you that all those sad tears will turn into to happy ones when Taylor (and all your boys) make you so proud that they are YOUR “kid” as an adult! Whe Shalane graduated, I couldn’t even look at her or talk about it without bursting into tears. I know you are extremely proud of your boys now…the best is yet to come!
    When I look at Shalane and Jason now, it’s like, WOW! I often ask God what we did to deserve such awesome kids!
    He said it was our minister and youth minister…not us! 😉

  24. Lonestar-Lady says:

    The best advice that we can offer is what we did…move to Canyon enroll him and let him live at home with you or in your case you will have to move to Lubbock and then follow him to his mission place. Actually, we have not gotten over our “first” and “last” with the oldest and I don’t guess we will. Now, we realize that time with our baby(or should I say the youngest) is just about over too. Lee had his car all polsihed and nice looking for prom and when he left to go get his date I walked him outside and the sad part is, I realized that it won’t be long before he is gone and I forgot to take pictures. When he drove away I had tears in my eye cause that is the baby. With all kidding a side, we are very fortunate that both are christians and believe it or not most of the time make good (or what we call right) decisions. We are so proud of them. Sorry to let you down on words of wisdom but it doesn’t get any easier as of right now. All you can do is look to the future to the many blessings they will be giving and that is worth it all.

    Lee & Gigi

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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