When Donny walked out the door and drove away with his dad to return to college a pure sadness overcame me and my eyes burned. Can’t deny the hurt, nor can I figure out what exactly is causing such an acute pain. He’ll be home in three weeks to stay for almost a month. I felt so high and happy to have him home with us, to have all of my gorgeous children within reach. When the door closed, and it was over, it severed the happy vein.
Most of the week he was mixed in with his brothers, and thoroughly enjoying his baby sister so we missed the one on one time I hoped to get. I took him shopping this morning to load him up on the groceries and essentials that he needed. It was funny how happy it made him to have pancake mixes, laundry soap, and trail mix. He even asked for a vacuum cleaner! So at Costco we put a hoover on top of all the food. I believe he is the one in his house of guys who can’t stand the mess. I have trained my boys to clean up and live in a neat environment. I am happy to see those lessons stuck. He borrows a vacuum when it gets really bad. My son wanted a vacuum. That’s so funny.
I am surprised how much it hurts to see him go because I like what he’s doing there. He’s walking a script I would write for him myself if I was given that job. (I wasn’t. I didn’t. I won’t.) And as Jordan said, he would drive us crazy when our lives resume and his isn’t here. True.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it is rich with meaning for me, for families, and for our nation. But now it has added value in that it promises to bring home children who are using their own wings. I can cling to that for a few more years.
When he walked out the door I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. Clean my office? Laundry? Walk lucy? Nap? Write? Cry. When Donny was a senior in high school I knew his leaving was encroaching and I suffered the whole year anticipating it. When it happened it was such a simple thing I needed a head slap for making it into such a big drama. What I didn’t know was the separation he will make from family is a gradual stretching, pulling, tearing. And now in the middle of his sophomore year, I am finally feeling the pain of his separation because it’s becoming so real. He is going his own way. He is becoming an independent man. How is it possible to be so happy for him and so sorry for myself?
It wasn’t just me, when Craig dropped him off at his busy house with four other guys returning from the holiday weekend, there was an awkward moment of needing to just go. And the three hour ride home was melancholy for him too. This parenting thing is hard. When I look at little Kira whining because she is tired and compare that to the discomfort I feel with a nineteen year old living his own life, I know for sure it doesn’t matter how old they are, if they are experiencing growing pains, so will I.
I hope if you are a mama with small children and the work is exhausting for you, as it really is, that you will broaden your scope for a wide angle view and realize right now you can hold them tight and they don’t go. Time moves faster than I ever believed it would, and just when they are so delightful and interesting, they are gone. I’m holding Kira today a little longer, and all that mess in my office, it can wait.