I'm adjusting, slowly, to my new life as a mom in California with part of my heart walking around in Texas. My son is studying film there. He's my firstborn and a freshman. Off, as he should be, pursuing higher education. It's a very good thing. But it isn't a very simple thing.
There was the work of graduation and packing and moving. Certainly good work and very well done. The real work, though, is in the adjusting gracefully. It's also good work. But doing it well requires some significant amount of vigilance and a whole lot of living very aware of the present. I can be good at that, but that too, is work.
It hasn't been a full week since we said goodbye outside his dorm. The adjusting to the new reality is just beginning. The dogs are still waiting near the front door for him to walk through. I reach for his favorite foods at Trader Joe's. I listen for his car late at night. Not so much melancholy behavior, just habit. We've lived in our old house since he was two. He and his sister are as much a part of this house to us as the walls and windows. Their words, their sounds, their comings and goings are part of the life of us. And it does take some getting used to losing a part of the rhythm section.
Yesterday my daughter found a new breakfast restaurant to try. We love an occasional Saturday breakfast out. We typically go to the same place and order the same things and talk about the same stuff. But, we're looking for new ways of being. It's clumsy. We'll get there.
I was hit with a wave of sadness yesterday because I truly miss this kid I adore. (No one is playing Ben Folds piano riffs in his absence either.) I was talking with someone on the phone when it hit. And, as friends can tend to do, she wanted me not to be sad so she hit me with this thought: "You have to get used to the idea he may never come home. You just have to be ok with that."
I tend not to agree.
After the coldness of the bucket of ice water warmed, I thought, "What I have to do is know all that I know:" He's smart. He's resourceful. He's pursuing what he loves. God opened doors for him to attend a college where only about 8% of the student body is from the 49 states that aren't Texas. He'll be home at Thanksgiving. I'll see him soon. My Dear Husband is fully in this with me. We can connect via text just about anytime. He's launched, (if you like the ship metaphor). He's growing. We can Facetime. He'll be back. He loves his home. He's only 1380.80 miles away. There are airplanes.
That's probably enough for now.
And for now, I'm just planning to allow the adjusting to come as it does. Slowly and gracefully with a few bumps and waves that feel the opposite of slow and graceful. It's time for me to grow. Time for me to settle. And time for me to enjoy time with the beautiful girl we get to know anew, in a one-on-one way now. Time he had before she was born.
Tomorrow I can adjust to the lower grocery bills.
It is all well with my soul.
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