Leaving my son at school was harder than I ever thought. Horrible is the word that comes to mind. I cried all the way down to the campus. I tried not to let Johnny see me cry but James and my husband were trying so hard to make me feel better that i might as well have been sitting next to him asking for tissues. I composed myself by the time we parked in front of his dorm. We unloaded with LOTS of help from the upper classmen who toted all our stuff to his room on the second floor. We met his roommate Amen pronounced Ay-men but not like church Amen. He is from Kuwait and his Uncle traveled with him to move in. He was sort of quiet but very nice. He’s very smart and seems like a good roommate for Johnny. We got John unloaded and headed to the bookstore to get his books and some token souvenir T-Shirts that I’ll sport around today like some wounded child. We picked up John’s laptop and toted it back to his room for Rob to set it up for him. By then it was after 1:00 and we were hungry so we sort of asked / suggested that John treat us to lunch with some of his family swipes that we bought with his meal plan. We took the tour to the eatery so James could get a look at the campus since he hadn’t been there. The food court was great since once you swipe, you could stay all day and keep eating. James was a big fan of that! We sat in a side corner booth and watched the new students get a feel for the school and making their presence known amongst the masses. It was a sea of hormones. My son was like a slab of prime rib to a bunch of starving dogs. Everywhere we walked I could feel the stares that were less than subtle. What can I say, he is a very handsome man. I don’t think he’ll be suffering for a date should he need one. Once lunch was done we were making our way back to drop John off at his dorm and leave and then he said the most awful thing he could have at that moment to me. “I’ll walk you to your car”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NO! you will NOT walk me to the car. This may sound weird but the only thing worse than leaving my son would be to see him walking away from me. Maybe I’m strange but I’d rather walk away on my terms than sit in the car watching him walk away from me. I couldn’t handle it so I just said no. He didn’t argue and hugged his brother goodbye…. ok hang on there you’re doing fine DON’T CRY! He hugged his Dad goodbye….oh shit my turn is next ….DON’T LOSE IT NOW YOU BIG BABY JUST ANOTHER MINUTE THEN IT WILL BE OVER! Then it was my turn and all the prophetic wonderful words of wisdom & mom things I was prepared to bestow upon him were lost the minute he said goodbye mama and hugged me. I began to lose it so I said I love you, I kissed him on the cheek and then as fast as I could without running I turned on my heel and booked it for the car. I could hear James with his 36″ legs striding to catch up with me. DON’T STOP! DON’T LOOK BACK or you will become the spectacle mom. BREATHE! Just keep walking I kept telling myself with the ragged fast breathing I was doing trying to prevent a massive break down that would probably end up in semester long ribbing if anyone had seen what was about to happen. Thank god the car was not too far away. I got in and that’s when the sadness fell heavy on my head. My poor son James and poor Rob didn’t know what to do with me as I openly and quietly panicked and wept all the way home. They tried to make jokes and smile and rubbed my shoulders and hand. I was just so sad for the rest of the day I laid on the couch watching movies and doing nothing. I couldn’t even touch base with my friends Sharon and Steve who had to do this twice in one weekend for two of their triplets. OMG twice! I didn’t even do one well and was so selfish to wallow in my emptiness that I didn’t reach out to either of them. I should have but sometimes you have to be selfish in order to heal. It’s the second time in my life that I have shut the world out in order to fix myself and it only happens in time of personal crisis. I’m sorry my friend but I know you both understand and I love you for it!
I now have this big empty hole in my chest and it aches even one day later. It’s not like he’s far away or in danger or without a phone. It’s that he’s not here and that makes me so sad. Even writing this brought me right back to those moments after I left. It will get better I know it will but it will never ever again be the same. I was prepared to give him lots of space, not text, not call and skype or facetime for several weeks. I was told that was what we needed to do to let him get adjusted to his new life. I wasn’t going to like it but I was prepared to do it for him. I don’t want to be THAT mom. So I went for a 5 mile run today to clear my head and come back to center in my new life without my daily fix of having Johnny here to talk to. Without driving him to work or loaning him the truck. No more iced coffee’s and other daily routines that are now just different. Not bad, different. I still have 2 home and one in H.S. so I won’t be bored and won’t have much time to be sad but part of me will miss my sick little jaundiced baby boy who became my Eagle Scout. I was prepared to go cold turkey/ No Johnny and then what happened?? Johnny texted me!!! I was so happy to hear from him and how his first night went and how he slept in his new bed etc. I got my johnny fix ….I feel like someone that needs medication for a medical condition. NO medication and your condition worsens but as long as you have that daily dose, you’re as fine as fine can be! I got my daily dose and I feel so much better! If I didn’t know before just how much i love my kids, I certainly do now that I am without one. As fast as the leaves changed on the trees and the wind is crisper, life has also. Enjoy your kids and every crazy moment good and bad because soon enough they grow up.