Hmmm. My kiddos are growing up. It doesn’t matter how many times over the years that I have had this revelation – each time is like a new feeling. I was doing fine.
Yesterday I finally just went to the school and asked if I could register my son on the spot. All this frustration with trying to figure out which day is the “right” day to register…there’s New Student Registration Day and Freshman Registration Day, and then there’s an evening “Freshman Orientation” and also a three-half-day Freshman Bridge Program. <sigh> Is it just me, or do we just really make things more complicated than necessary? Why? Good grief! Anyway, my son spurred me on, because of his own frustration with questions about classes, and I guess he’s less patient than I am. And patience is supposed to be a virtue! Maybe I take it to far by not pushing where I should sometimes.
So we are headed out to run some other errands, and I voice my confusion/frustration with all this once again, and he just says, “Mom, just take all my papers and let’s go to the school right now. This is ridiculous. We’ll just get me registered today. It’s not like they’re gonna say ‘no’!” And we did. What a relief. And even though the course catalog says that 2 years of foreign language are required for the diploma he wants to get, we found out that it’s actually 4…which is kinda good to know, since there are only 4 opportunities to take a year! < cheshire grin, here>….ow, I bit my lip!
The day was productive and I felt fine.
He went to his first “high school” age party last night, too, (the kind you don’t dread…with most of the kids from youth group, several parents and the youth pastor attending…smores and hot dogs over a yard fire, cake and ice cream and socializing) and even though the thing was to last until 2am, we picked him up a bit before midnight and we parents and he the teen were happy with that. I was still fine.
We drove back on the quiet streets after picking him up, listening to his account of things, and I was still fine, but sorta remembering the parties with balloons and giggles. Then when he hugged me goodnight, he let his hand slide down my arm as he looked me in the eye and thanked me for letting him go and staying up late to let him stay late, and I really was still ok.
I lay down next to my husband and we talked for several minutes, yawning and breathing deeply, about nothing sentimental at all, and when all was quiet, I suddenly broke into tears. My little boy is gone. I love the youth he is and the man he’s becoming, but I really just feel like it happened so fast. It just suddenly occurred to me that when school starts in about 10 days, he is not going to be here all day. Most moms adjusted to this when their kids were 5 or 6, but I have been blessed enough to have every day with my kids and watch every change and every accomplishment and failure firsthand. I can’t imagine one of them not being here-all day- every day, for the better part of a year! This is going to take much more adjusting than I first calculated. I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’ll miss out on so much. I’m afraid he’ll stop talking to me about everything. I’m afraid his friends will become more a part of his life than his family. I have never felt so much grief where my kids are concerned.
My husband saying that all this may be hard, but that I should rejoice, because thier independance, confidence and security is all the beautiful fruit of my parental labors. I know he’s right, and I truly am happy that they are all those things. I wouldn’t want them to be fearful, insecure and scared of everything. I wouldn’t want them to depend on me for everything, because I won’t always be here. And there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that your child knows God and looks there for backup, instead of to you, as it should be. But it is hard. It is very, very hard.
He is volunteering today, and isn’t here. He woke me up at 8:15, and had already fed the dog and taken her out, eaten breakfast, taken a shower, and was in the process of packing a lunch for himself. He didn’t want to wake me until the last minute, since he knew I’d been up late because of the party he went to. Some young woman is going to be very blessed some day.
K and I went letterboxing locally, and it was a lot of fun. I know that we are going to enjoy some great mother-daughter bonding this year. But I wonder now that we’ve returned, if I somehow wanted to be gone today because I know that it’s going to be like this a lot soon, and I just wanted to avoid thinking about it….. She cried before we left for just a minute, saying she was tired. I told her that we could stay home, but she didn’t want that. I wonder if it’s just as hard for her.
We had a good day, stopping twice for cold drinks (from a machine where cans are still only .40, believe it or not), and having fun deciphering clues and enjoying the stamps and locations. We looked for 4 boxes, and only 2 were there. One was just plain missing, and the other one was a lid-less, empty container. I do hate that for the planters. (We had fun regardless.)
In the words Pacha’s wife (the Emperor’s New Groove) and in the tradition of women in my family who work themselves to death to deal with stress – “I gotta go wash something!”