It has been a week of re-settling. We got home with just enough time for Sam to wash clothes, see friends for a couple days and repack for college. He moved in on Monday, and I could kick myself for forgetting my camera. When I recall that I moved my entire life's possessions in the back of a little Chevy Vega hatchback to Florida for graduate school, it makes me quiver a bit to admit that my child not only filled up his car, but half of the back of our van as well. Don't ask me where he can possibly find room in that tiny dorm for his "stuff." He did not inherit ANY of my minimalist genes. And though he was never a Boy Scout, his motto regarding clothes and electronics is, "Be prepared." (my eyes are rolling) I am so hoping that someday, my child will learn that on so many levels, less is more.
Compared to taking Sam to college last year, one week out from a killer diagnosis, believing that I would never even see him finish his freshman year, the leave-taking was much easier. Oh, yeah, there were a few tears in my eyes, but I was not inconsolable like last year, or even close. And since we got home on Monday, I've been busy unpacking and organizing. If that empty bedroom just weren't there.......(as I talk to other moms this week, we all mention that empty room, a stark reminder that a corner of our hearts will always be empty when our child is not with us).
This rite-of-passage.........with water-colored memories of his childhood splashing around in my soul.......with whispers of his future career coming into focus.......with joy in seeing him with his best buds again.......watching him secure and happy in his college choice........well, it's OK. It is even more than OK. It's all good. It is as it is supposed to be. Giving your child roots and wings, and then being able to witness the flight.
This is the honor and blessing and bittersweet joy of being a mom: Planting the roots, unbinding the wings, and being their soft place to fall, for ever and always.