Thursday, August 2, 2012

Soon and very soon...

In 19 days, my son, my second child is leaving for college.  He will be about an hour and some away from his mother.  If you have read any of my blogs about this child or know him...you understand what I may be feeling...

He is an interesting soul.  He loves life and doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut.  He is dependable, kind and I am starting to miss seeing him every day already.

But, my youngest, Howie, is going to miss him even more.  They are best buddies...hiking, camping, airsofting, traveling buddies and they fight like cats and dogs.  They also gang up on me and keep me honest when they need to.  

Last week, we were beginning the transition to fall and I took them shopping.  Of course, at 10am, they were hungry and needed to go to McDonald's for 6 egg Mcmuffins a piece.  As we were sitting there at the counter and they were eating, I asked Mac if he was gonna call me when he left for college.  He promptly replied, "No". Then I asked if I could call him.  He also replied, "No".  I looked away and realized that tears were running down my face.  It totally caught me by surprise.  He noticed and said, "Mom, I am gonna be an hour away and you can call me or text me any time you want...I was just kidding."  I think I know he was kidding but I had just realized that two of my favorite people in the world will now be living away from me.

When the Queen was home in May before she left for her summer job,  I enjoyed her so much.  We went to the gym together, cooked together and talked about everything.  I didn't want her to go to her summer job...I wanted her to stay home.  That was different from last summer.  I was ready for her to go and was afraid that if she lived at home for the summer, we would argue and have power struggles.  I guess I let go just enough that she could be an adult in my home and I could enjoy her.  But, on the 28th of May, she left to go to work.  I miss her terribly and wish that she was only an hour away, instead of three.  She will be back in Boulder in 19 days as well.

In less than three weeks, it will be me, my husband and my youngest son.  Don't get me wrong, my youngest is a deep, quiet thinker.  He is perfectly fine alone, doing what he wants.  He doesn't seem to need a bunch of friends, one or two plus his brother is fine, thank you.  He talks quietly, thinks before he speaks and you can't  push him into anything he doesn't want to do.  Sometimes, when I blurt out an opinion, he just shakes his head and says, "Mom, no" and most of the time he is right.  I should have kept that thought to myself.

What will I do when I only have one at home?  A week or two ago, I sat my husband down and told him we "are not done."  What I meant by that is...we still have Howie at home and we need to gather our old bones and get our energy level up to be his number one cheerleaders like we have been with the other two.  We have to  sit at dinner every night and do what we have done for 15 years...ask the questions.  Since the queen was in kindergarten, most every night, when we weren't running around, we sat at the dinner table, said our prayer and ate together.  The first question, usually asked by Jim was, "what did you do in school today?" to each kid.  Then I would ask, "who did you have lunch with today?" and it went from there.  I am sure the answers will be much shorter and forced but we need to connect with the last kid even more.  He is so quiet, he could be in the basement with his sports and video games and if I wanted, I would never have to make dinner again.  

I talked to a mother whose only child was going to college and she called it "re-purposing"...that is, finding another meaning besides being a mother in your life.  I guess I don't want to.  I am a mother...and some times I am a "motha" too.  I didn't plan to be so attached to these three or love them as much as I do but guess what, it happened.  And, they are leaving.  They are spreading their wings and moving out of the nest.  It's hard but also pretty gratifying.  

Over Christmas, when the Queen was home, one night, all three were out doing different things.  I was out of sorts and in a terrible mood.  One by one, they came home.  When the Queen made it home, she came up to my room, and announced that the last chick was home and the nest was full again.  She was right, all my chicks were home and safe in the nest.  I slept beautifully that night.

I asked my older boy what he was doing tomorrow.  He said, "I have no plans until later tomorrow night," and then asked, "why, you wanna do something?"  I thought (but did not say) "yeah, I want to hang out with you, hear about all your hopes and dreams, listen to what you are worried about in this next step of your life and want to make sure you realize how precious you are to your father and I" but I didn't because I know he would just say, "Oh, Mom, you'll be fine when I leave."   So I said, "I gotta work but how about you getting ready to go to college, start packing up."  

Because I know him so well, it will take him the whole 19 days to pack up and get ready to go.  I also know I will be up in Boulder in the next few days bringing him stuff he forgot.  What I am going to appreciate the most, though, is when I show up with stuff he forgot after a week and see a confident, college boy in the place of my son  who is excited to see his parents and brother but ready for us to leave so he can get on with his life.

At least I hope so...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,


Elizabeth said...

So much bittersweet stuff here -- and time for the heart to ache and exult all at once.

Ms. Moon said...

I wish I had some sort of magic wand to make it all okay. I guess I don't though, do I?
But listen- don't make it more than it is. Yes. He is leaving the nest and yes, he will be back, over and over again. Yes, he is trying out his wings. But you and Jim have given him strong ones!
It's going to be hard for you but you'll be okay. I was there when he was born and I know how strong you are and I know how strong HE is.
I love you, Terry. You know that.