Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Turning Eighteen at WSU
Last weekend, my baby boy had a birthday. He turned eighteen. And I'm not going to lie - I shed a few tears. But mostly, and surprisingly, I felt happiness. Can a mama's heart swell with pride and sadness at the same time? T is such an amazing young man, if I do say so myself. I wrote a letter to him last year, and nothing has changed, except we're one step closer to that next phase of his life.
We celebrated by heading for Pullman, home to Washington State University - alma mater of both my husband and myself, and the place where T thinks he will go to college. It was "Future Cougar" weekend, and T and a friend wanted to check out the campus and attend a football game.
The Palouse hills, which surround the university, are stunning this time of year.
We spent T's birthday touring the beautiful campus, looking at classrooms and impossibly tiny dorm rooms, and talking with current students and faculty.
T has wanted to be a veterinarian since he was ten, and since WSU has a renowned vet school, we've visited here before. Eight years from now, will we be taking another picture of Dr. T on his graduation day? Cue the tears.
I managed to pull myself together, because it was time for some football!
As the final seconds ticked down on a Cougar victory, I looked over at my son and saw this:
Hat on backwards, the goofy smile that I love....but something else too. Pure happiness and excitement.
And in that moment I realized something. He's ready. Ready for that next step, ready to move towards his dreams, ready to spread his wings and and take that first flight from the nest.
I may not be ready, but that doesn't matter. We plan to make a few more college visits, but I think this is where he belongs. It fits, and it feels right.
Which was the best birthday present of all.