Monday, August 22, 2016
The Years Went By Too Fast
It's been four days since we unpacked the clothes, made up the new bed, put away all the snacks and school supplies, and tacked the pictures of home onto the walls. Actually, he did that, which is why they're so.... obviously put up by a boy. Whose mom kept her mouth shut because it's his space. Anyway.
There was one last breakfast, then a quick goodbye while I held back the tears. The drive home was long and hot and I finally let those tears flow. Often.
When he was born, we brought him home from the hospital, put him in his crib, and said "what do we do with him now?" On Thursday I walked into the house, looked at his empty bed, and said "what do I do now without him?"
My life isn't over. I know that a new chapter has begun for him and for me. And my nest isn't really that empty. My husband and older son are still here, along with Abby and the new puppy. Yet life as I've known it has definitely changed. Things will never be exactly the same again. It's not the end of the world, but it's the end of something special.
And I'm just so sad.
I will miss him and almost everything about him. His sense of humor, his kindness, his hugs, the impromptu dance parties with his brother. I'll miss watching him compete in cross country and swimming. I'll miss his wit and intelligence, his smart aleck commentary, and his goofy antics. I'll miss his friends and the life they brought into our home.
There are many worse places I could have left him on Thursday. Jail, rehab, a hospital room. He's alive and healthy, and successful enough to start college and pursue his goals and dreams. But nothing prepares you to leave a piece of your heart in a dorm room 334 miles away.
I'm just so sad.
I'm sad when I pass his room, and see everything neat and tidy, with every dresser drawer closed. Sad when I fold the last bits of laundry he left at home. Sad when I look outside and see his car in the driveway. Sad when I realize he won't be coming in the door to ask me to make chicken pot pie for dinner.
I know things will get better, as everything does with time. We'll all find our new normal. I'll always be his mom, and he'll still need me, in different ways.
Still, I'm just so sad.
The years went by too fast. It seems like there's so much time, until suddenly there isn't. And if I could, I'd go back and do it all again. I'd bring home that little baby, lay him in his crib, and whisper in his ear that the next eighteen years were going to be the best years of my life.