Saturday, August 30, 2008

Trying to make a transition - and so far, it ain't working


So it's been 48 hours since we left our oldest son on his college campus and I hugged him (tightly) good-bye. I'm writing a column about this so I don't want to go too deeply into things here except to say this feels very, very weird.

He's been away before - but the short term nature of that absence made it feel much different. The truth is, this fall could be the beginning of his permanent move away. I know - we have summers coming up and time together on school breaks but he may in fact never really live her again. That just feels too strange to even contemplate.

I've said this before but I have to echo it here - I'm not ready for this. Could it really be time for this? Clearly, the calendar tells me it is. My heart tells me something different.


Deb said...

Ah, Renee. I wonder if a mom is ever ready.

Twelve years ago I was in your place, our oldest son just settling into his dorm in Pittsburgh. Today he called from his apartment in San Francisco taking a straw poll on whether we are more or less likely to vote for McCain now that he's chosen Palin as VP candidate. It was like he'd never left.

Treasure your memories, and your times together whether in person, by email, or cell phone call.

It is time and you will be ready. Soon. And I agree, it does feel very, very weird.

renee said...

Thank you, Deb. That helped quite a bit.
I think one of the only things that wil help is hearing from parents - maybe even just from moms - who have traveled this path before me - and can guide the way.
Thanks again -

Richard said...

Why does it just have to be moms? I am a father who was highly involved with raising a son. For a few years I was "Mr. Dad" (sorry: Mr. Mom doesn't work for me.) I was at home while my wife worked, my son was in Jr. High. I did the car pool, doctors & dentists (see Mary-Chapin Carpenter.) Last year, at 22, the boy moved out. We didn't have the college problem becuase he went to a local school.

I think it's been harder on me than my wife. I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I don't know what. I can only hope that might take solace in the fact that you're not alone. If you didn't feel this way, then there would be something wrong.

renee said...

Hi Richard -

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. As you say, this feeling isn't reserved only for Moms. I can only relate to this in terms of my own feelings. My husband is going through the same situation, reacting in his own way to it as well.

It feels like my son has become very far away - in an emotional way - although deep inside, I know we are as close as ever. I feel like I'm watching him spread his wings - albeit from a distance - and I find myself hoping he is ready to fly. I think he is.

But I still have the urge to hover sort of nearby, just in case he wavers.

Thanks again for your comments.