I looked forward to Thanksgiving since the day we dropped my son Jorden off. As we drove away the only consolation I could offer myself was that Thanksgiving wasn’t so far away and I would see him very soon.
Every lonely night I rehearsed over and over the schedule of things we would do while he was here and I immediately began to plan the four-day menu. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks were very well planned and I made sure to have every single ingredient and went over the list constantly making sure nothing was forgotten.
Stupid me. Seriously, what was I thinking? This is MY son. The same son who would walk in the door after baseball practice, throw his mess down, mumble that he’d already eaten dinner with the guys, then lock himself in his room leaving me to throw out the dinner I’d saved for him. This is my son who despite what I planned for us would set those plans aside when his baseball buddies called him up to go hang out somewhere. This is the same son that would stay out all hours of the night knowing I cannot sleep until he gets home safely.
I guess I thought the three months he was away would change him and he would realize that I am the most important person in his life and that he missed the hell out of me and wanted to spend every single minute with me and only me.
Well, you guessed it, I was WRONG! I must have aged in the three months he’d been gone because I found myself in a completely different place. The day he was home he went to visit friends and then left to get a haircut. He was gone for nearly eight hours and I thought of every Law & Order scene you can imagine.
The second night, also known as Thanksgiving, he just had to go off and visit some girl that I had no idea even existed but apparently she is worth cutting Thanksgiving Day short with the woman who nearly died giving birth to him. I couldn’t sleep the entire time he was out. I was a nervous wreck. What if he gets pulled over? What if he gets a flat tire? What if he gets this girl pregnant tonight? Oh my God, I’m allowing my son to get some girl pregnant and I’m just laying here in bed.
1AM rolls around and I stare at my phone trying to decide if I should text him or not. I’m actually debating as if I’m a teenager fighting the urge to call some guy I like. Then I say to myself “This is MY kid, I can text him if I want.” Yeah, ok. After another half an hour goes by I decide to text him and tell him that this is ridiculous and he needs to come home!! So I send the text, “Don’t be out so late. Love you. MOM”
Okay, so I’m a wimp. I admit it. When he doesn’t answer me, after 45 long seconds, I begin to freak out. My son is nothing like my daughter. I know all of my daughter’s friend’s phone numbers. I can call them at any time. I can even call the ones I know she hasn’t spoken to in months and they would be more than willing to help me out.
With my son, I only have other baseball moms’ phone numbers and those ladies are like a squad of Italian women. They are all clones of me and my dramatic self. If I called them proclaiming that Jorden is “missing” within one hour those women would have t-shirts and posters made with Jorden’s face all over them with the word MISSING in the darkest, boldest print that would catch anyone’s attention and Channel 2 would be called and forced to cover the breaking news.
Hard as it is, I refrain from calling anyone. It’s been two minutes but in those two minutes a shocking thought enters my mind. I think, “That boy needs to go back to school. I can’t do this anymore. I want my new life back.”
Immediately, guilt washes over me but I want my lonely quiet nights back. The nights where I get a good night’s sleep not knowing my son’s every move. Not knowing what time he gets in every night is okay with me now. I have forgotten what it’s like to doze off on Friday and Saturday nights until the front door opens and he is home safely and THAT is my clearance to fall soundly asleep.
My thoughts are interrupted. Jorden finally replies to my text letting me know he is on his way home. My heart still won’t settle until he is safely home. I realize my heart is out of practice even though it’s hung in there with me all these years.
I missed my son. Tremendously. My heart ached so much the day I drove away as he waved at me until we could no longer see one another. I waited so long for his visit home but I do not miss this. I do not miss being worried sick. I understand I can’t keep him locked up when he comes home. As ready as I was for him to go back I cried like a baby at the airport when we dropped him off. I cried the entire ride home wondering what the hell was wrong me. All I could think of was how much more time I needed with him. Clearly, I’m the most confused mother in the world.
I am looking forward to his Christmas break. I really am. But this time I won’t feel so guilty when I begin to feel that I am so ready for him to go BACK!
Jennifer Lee Hussein is the mother of two grown, yes grown children. She is a rookie empty-nester. She has a twenty year old daughter who is a flight attendant which basically means she is making a living staying away from her dramatic and needy mother. She also has an eighteen year old son who is attending college in Missouri on a baseball scholarship.
Both of her kids have left home leaving her to do something she always heard would happen but never really saw it coming…..which is having to spend the rest of her life with her husband of over twenty years in their hometown Houston,Texas. On her free time she likes to make her kids feel guilty about not calling her by sub-tweeting them and posting old photos and tagging them with the captions such as “miss these days” and “miss hearing their voices.” She enjoys reading, writing, traveling to watch her son play baseball and dining out as much as possible.