This weekend we dropped off number two son at college. This is not my first rodeo so I was somewhat prepared for the flood of emotion that comes with this process. Despite the fact that I’ve been feeling weepy for the last week or two, the actual separation went surprisingly well, even though I did feel that familiar lump rise in my throat as we watched him walk away.
If we moms had to explain why we get misty-eyed when we leave kids at college, we’d say, or as I can only speak for myself, I’d say:
1. My heart is so full of love for you that it aches like a physical pain and it’s that almost unbearable fullness that brings tears to my eyes.
2. I will miss the way we were. Things will change between us now. We will always be mother and son but I will become an increasingly less important person to you, as it should be.
3. I will miss you and almost everything about you, your sense of humor, your long, rambling convoluted diatribes, even your closed bedroom door. But it’s not just you I’ll miss, it’s the light and life you brought into this home and your friends who also became dear to me over the years.
4. I will worry about you because I desperately don’t want you to ever feel lost or alone but I am certain that you will experience those “lost and alone” days. Everyone has them. Thinking about the times that you will not be okay and the fact that I can’t make you okay makes me terribly sad.
5. I am not worried that you will not succeed. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I have no doubt that you will succeed and that success will lead you further from me. Again, it is as it should be, but sad, nonetheless.
6. That moment when you walked away from us, we went one way and you went the other. You walked into a bright new chapter of your life where the possibilities are almost endless. I was walking away from a piece of my heart and the poignancy of that moment is not lost on me.
I know that we will all soon adjust and I will be able to see this more clearly as a beginning for both of us and not as an end. And as we drive away I look back and hope that I’ve done most things right, or right enough, that you make wise choices and that fortune goes your way.