Once upon a time I spent my days with a gaggle of kids that followed me where ever I went. My world revolved around the three souls I pushed out of my womb and then made sure they had food placed in front of them, shoes that fit, and swimming holes to explore. My days sometimes seemed to never end. I ached for an hour or two where no one needed me for something. Just an hour. Or a minute. Like an opportunity to shut the bathroom door and pee alone.
Even though it didn't seem possible I'd ever escape the always present mountain of laundry, the sticky floors from juice spilled, or the driving schedule that began at 3pm and ended when the last game or guitar lesson ended hours later, I knew there would come a time. That time is now. My last son is a high school senior and next year, my calendar will not have hours of baseball games filling the slots and there will be no one's ass to chew about getting homework completed.
How in the world did this little boy become old enough to go off to college?
Youngest son, Ian, and I took a road trip last week. College visit. He had been accepted to a few schools. Some even with in-state tuition. But he had a dream, and never one to not encourage those, I arranged flight, a car, and time to visit an old friend who teaches at the university.
Ian and I walked around campus, taking in all the sites. Took a tour. Visited with our old friends who drove us for hours on end to see the surrounding area. Overwhelmed, Ian and I retreated to our hotel for siesta time, watching the Olympics or talking about what we'd seen. As Ian endured Ice Dancing, for his mother's sake, we read the local newspapers and just soaked up the entire environment - not talking about a decision.
On the last day, Ian went on ahead of me as he had a meeting scheduled with the head of his department. By the time I got my camera out, (my hands were shaking) he was almost out of my sight and in the building.
We've since had a discussion on which college he's chosen to attend. Come fall, the last of those that followed me around will be off on their own. How does that happen so quickly? My grieving has begun, although...
...I'm probably going to be working so much to help pay for his butt to attend, that I won't have time to miss him. Now, there's fodder for future posts - that midlife job hunting thing again.