A time to celebrate. A job well done. A bright future full of possibilities. A right of passage. The ending of one era and beginning of a grand era. The smell of the spring air, the bright sunshine. Birds tweeting in the background. The jibber jabber of all the happy family and friends, the quiet talk of the unsure graduates.
I hate it already.
What am I going to do?
This sweet baby, this totally bouncing little bundle of joy that took my world and shook it upside down, some 17 years ago, suddenly no longer needs me?!? He’s suddenly all grown up? Look at him! Have you seen my baby lately? He’s a man. When did that happen?!?
What right do they have, leaving us, after all these years? We’ve invested our hearts and souls, blood, sweat, and sleep (or lack of!) in to them and their lives for the past 18 years. And now, all of a sudden, we are no longer needed? Not fair!
“Ah”, my 17-year-old would tell me, “I’ll still need you, mom. I’ll need some money for gas, someone to cook me a meal every now and then. Car insurance, cell phone. You’re still needed.” He’d just grin at me.
But the daily hugs, the good-byes at the door, the “drive safe” every time he leaves the house (even his three-year-old brother tells him that now!), the “when are you going to be home” – all that, is going to end. I can’t see texting back and forth or calling from college to report every time he is leaving the dorm room and returning again.
His quirky sense of humor, his quick reflexes that take a cheap shot at his brother when antagonized, his general overall grumpiness when he’s hungry….these things will be missed on a daily basis. The way he drops everything to drive trains with his three-year-old brother. The way the one-year-old twins run to him for hugs when he gets home and good-bye hugs when he leaves again. The way his dad curses him out for dragging snow in to the garage again.
He’s hardly home anymore. He has been preparing us for the day he leaves for college for a good year or two now. And yet, it’s still going to suck.
Some moms will miss that little bit of control, I think, that they have over their kids when they still live at home. They’ll miss knowing what he’s up to, where he’s been, does he have his biology lab done, that kind of stuff.
I gave most of that up a long time ago. He’s a good kid. He doesn’t get in to trouble. He follows the rules. Generally. He does his homework, goes to work, shows up where he needs to be, when. He meets his curfew (sometimes) and always shows his mom and dad respect. I know he is going to be okay in college. I don’t worry about him.
But I already miss him. I already miss those hugs I won’t get. The laughs I won’t hear. The growls of hunger I won’t see. I miss the train tracks he won’t build, the balls he won’t throw, the tackles he won’t make. I already miss the dishes he won’t do. The laundry that won’t be washed. The football games that won’t be watched. The stories he won’t tell. The picking on his brothers that he won’t do. The little sound of “mmm!” when he’s surprised that something tastes good, or his exclamation of “Ohhh cookies!” when he comes home after a tough practice. He won’t be here every day to share all of those little bits of him that I love so dearly.
Sure, if we are lucky, he will come home often on the weekends. Probably to see his girlfriend. He’ll come home for holidays. I’m sure he’ll buzz over to his girlfriend’s. Maybe he’ll text me; even call me? (When he’s not talking to his girlfriend.) Maybe an email once in a while? He’ll be home for summer break, right? Hanging around the house, when he’s not working…or visiting his girlfriend.
I’m starting to think the girlfriend has to go…..
You know who you are…..And I know you read this…..
(Just kidding! I love her dearly!)
(Photo from visualphotos.com)