Okay, so I think that maybe the worst part of sending a kid to college might be the anticipation of the departure. Last night, we went to dinner to celebrate Bryce after I watched him load his car with necessities for the next three weeks. I did a wonderful job as we had our family dinner of keeping it light until we got home where I proceeded to cry – not ugly cry as that will probably happen throughout the day – while I grabbed on to him. He was kind enough to stand still or maybe I was holding him hostage. Either way, my efforts of keeping my shit together was a big fail.
I appreciate all the moms who have gone before me giving me reassurance that this too shall pass. That the feeling of loss will heal itself and I will adjust. For now, I am simply terrified. What if he doesn’t make any friends? What if he hates it there? What if he ends up coming home and living with us well into his thirties? I can and have been making myself insane by dancing with the thoughts that are running like a marquee through my head. This is the part that I hate. Embracing the discomfort. With anything, it is the only way to get to the other side.
As he is getting ready to walk out the door this morning, I am prepping myself for his car leaving the driveway pointing toward his new adventure. I am aiming to be the “cool” mom who says all the right things, lifts him up with inspiring words, and sends him out into the world full of confidence. I am willing myself to not ugly, snot cry all over his shirt. Of course, that is a ridiculous. The moment he hugs me, I can barely utter anything but, “I love you” which you can barely understand through the heaving and uncontrollable sobbing.
So, he has departed and made it to his destination safely. I am left here to get used to our new normal. Life is really just a series of adjustments layered in emotion. Are we all going to be okay? Yes. Will I stop crying? Eventually. Will I squeeze him so hard with my hug the next time I see him? Most definitely. My landscape has changed, but that doesn’t mean it is less colorful. It simply means it is expanding.