Graduation is Saturday

This Saturday… he is graduating. From college
It’s been a slow four years. It’s been a fast four years.

It was a tender time… of learning to breathe with him not in the house… and then learning to breathe when he was in the house. He went away… and I ached… and then Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny — and all kinds of breaks brought him back in… and I ached at the close of those breaks when I knew he would be leaving again…

If I weren’t so busy, I could sit here and cry … for a long time… over the gratefulness I feel for the roads we have traveled and for the spaces we have expanded over these last four years…Learning to find enough protein from inadequate dorm food, for the regattas he raced in, the roommate that never took care of his bunny, the road trip to Utah, the mission trip to Houston, teaching him how to buy his groceries, the pep talks when the courses were too hard, and discovering where the frozen chicken breasts are in the grocery store, the recipes I shared with him that I found on Pinterest, and laundry questions (doing his laundry again…) so… many… beautiful moments shared from just ordinary days… gone…I have grown so much. He has learned so much… and if I’m really being honest… how I ache to have those precious years back

The joy of hearing his footsteps come through the house, or seeing the top of his head at the breakfast table…folding his laundry

He has done so well in school, he’s made wonderful friends who will enrich his life — forever. He has been wise beyond his years and taken a path that will benefit him for the rest of his life. He was smarter than I was at that age. My how he has grown into himself…

I’ve learned that it’s really not for me to ache for those things… this is his life… and there is nothing that holds him here… because, the way things look now… he won’t be back. Gratefully, there is a job calling… and if all goes as plans, this will not be his home.

I honestly, did not see that one coming — but if I did, I didn’t even want to consider that… for all along, I kept thinking, all I have to do is get through these next four years, and then he will be back. It will be different — he’ll live away from home, and have his own job and life — but he’ll be within reach…He’ll come by for dinner, sometimes, on Thursday nights. He’ll pop into one of his brother’s track meets — I’ll go to Costco and pick up extras for him… and holidays would not be one big mess of trying to schedule things… because he’d be just right around the corner.

But that’s not what’s going to happen… I never believed this is how it would turn out…

So, let’s look at what’s good. He will have a job. He won’t be far. He’ll be fine…And he is graduating… not so for some other friends…

I’m friends with the mom of his best friend from high school. He’s coming back here to live and work. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you how painful it is to see her — to see him… because I thought he’d be back here too. I’ll get the strength/time to call her and tell her how disappointed I am… and she will feel the same ache as me… wishing he would be back in her kitchen too.

But in the end, I just can’t tell you how sweet it was to go through these last four years with him through this very big transition of moving from being my son that I take care of… to the man that takes care of himself…

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