To a certain extent, parenting from the very start is about letting go. The 'leaving' that they do begins the moment they enter our worlds. Dramatic, yes, but true. From rolling to walking to, well, flying. I've felt what I think to be the healthy balance of that all along the way in our mere 16 years of parenting thus far, but am feeling it strongly and differently at this very moment in time. We bought our eldest, Calvin, a truck - a fabulous beater of an old thing (as one's first car should be, my husband deeply believes which I equate to a rare sentiment of 'we suffered and survived and so shall they!" from him) - so that he could have the independence due a nearly sixteen-year-old boy (and maybe also so that we can do a little less shuttling ourselves). But as excited as I am for him to have that freedom, which I trust and know he'll use wisely, I also mourn the loss of all that time we spend together talking and connecting in the front seat of a car. At the same time as we prepare for that new phase, I just this week purchased his ticket and made final arrangements for his solo journey to France. He'll spend a good part of his spring semester on exchange there. After so much talk and preparation for this adventure, I felt nothing but joy and excitement for him when I announced the dates had been chosen and the tickets purchased. We cheered together. And then, after a moment, I quietly remembered to myself just how much I'm going to miss him.
Yesterday, Ezra and I boarded a plane for our own tiny little adventure on the West Coast, where we'll be doing just a tiny bit of work, but mostly visiting with a friend. I couldn't imagine coming to California without him, and so he came along - the one who has talked about living in San Francisco since before he could really say the name (and we still don't know where it came from), the one who writes scripts by night and improvs and acts by day whenever possible, and fits some music making in between that. As we flew over the city, before we had even landed in Los Angeles, he said, "I could live here..." I know you could, honey. And you just might someday. And how exciting will that be, I thought! And then, the familiar feeling post-joy, of knowing just how much I would - and will someday - miss him.
Ah, the bittersweetness of it all! I am feeling it truly and deeply at this moment in life. And the only way I know how to channel those feelings is to direct them into the right here and now with what is in front of me. And for today, that means a young guy who is eager to see a city, a boy who has his whole world and life yet still in front of him. And how lucky am I that I get to be here this day with him? A lucky Mama indeed. With ever fiber of my being, I intend to be here with him.
(And the ducks? Well I forgot the right camera cord, you see, and anyway, what this post could really use is some ridiculously silly snowy ducks looking for water, wouldn't you say? Let's not take any of this too seriously, I am also reminded.)
Wishing you all a lovely weekend!