About a week ago, Cheryl Gottlieb Boxer dropped off her son at the train station to return for his second semester, freshman year at college. She says that the thing she misses most with her son gone is missing out on, “the little details of his day.” Distance made staying in touch with her normally talkative son more difficult. She wondered what he ate, who was he hanging out with, what he wore, all of the details that add texture and substance to a relationship.
When she returned home from dropping him off she started finding notes that her son had written to her left in strategic places, where he knew she would find them. When she spoke to Grown and Flown, Cheryl said that
My son actually started leaving notes for his grandma (my mom) when he would visit her for a sleepover. He was just a young boy when he started, maybe 7 or 8 years old. She would find the notes in her shoes, coat pockets, jewelry box. He still leaves her notes when he visits. She never throws them out, and some remain in the exact place she found them.
Cheryl says that finding the notes made her so happy because to, “know he thought ahead and planned this before he left to return to school made me feel very loved.” It also made her realize how well her son knows her, leaving notes in the exact places where he knew she would find them.
Her post in the Grown and Flown Parents group said,
Today we dropped our son off at the train station to return to college for the spring semester of his freshman year.
I returned home and found the house too quiet. I missed his chatter, his guitar music and video games. Every corner of the house felt barren in his absence.
And then I started finding notes. Everywhere. He left me notes in all the places he knows I’ll find them. “Have a nice bath” on the edge of the bathtub. “You look beautiful” on the mirror of my medicine cabinet. “I love you” inside my coffee maker.
Finding these notes has made me so happy. And I keep finding more. Each note I find I’m afraid is the last, but then I find another. When he called me with a travel update I asked him why he left them, and he told me because he doesn’t want me to forget him.
As if that’s possible.
I assume by now he has found the note I left inside the dinner I packed for him. “Be careful and I love you.”
Because I don’t want him to forget me either.
Within minutes of sharing, the post had garnered hundreds of reactions with fellow parents loving this sweet mom and her equally sweet son. When asked why she shared what some might consider such a private vignette, Cheryl said,
I wanted to share the story because I knew it would make people happy, particularly parents who have sent a child off into the world. They really do love us and think about us. And I can tell from the response that it struck a chord. So many moms, in particular, who wrote that it made them feel a lot of joy to know that we are missed, that even once our children are grown and flown they are inextricably linked to home.
We could not have said it better ourselves.