This week, I learned a very important empty nester lesson. The method of delivery wasn't ideal, but the message was clear.
My boys still need me.
Sounds obvious, but trust me, most days I feel pretty redundant in their lives. Which truthfully, is a good thing. If I've done my job well, they're off in the world, making their own way, figuring things out, without calling mom for advice every five minutes.
So while I might complain, for the most part I've resigned myself to the new role, and I'm trying to enjoy the show from the sidelines. But then the phone rings at 10pm, and your mama gut immediately senses danger, you're off the bench and back in the game.
Thomas has been home on spring break, and Wednesday night he, Conner, and a group of friends headed to the YMCA for a pick up basketball game. Thirty minutes in, Conner went up for a rebound and it didn't end well. As he lay on the court, all he could say to his brother was "shoulder".
This is his fifth dislocation, so he knows the pain and he knows the drill. It's not pretty. The YMCA called an ambulance, and Thomas called me.
Let me say this, and every mother will yell amen. Whether they're 2 or 22, when your baby is hurt, nothing else matters. I couldn't get myself to the Y fast enough. In fact, I beat the ambulance by three minutes.
The relief on his agonized face as he saw me walk in broke my heart. In that moment I realized that no matter how old you are, sometimes you just need your mom. To hold your hand, and tell you it's going to be okay, and politely (?) tell the paramedics that MOM IS HERE, AND SHE'S GOT THIS.
And on that very long night, there was comfort in that, for him and for me. He's got some tough medical decisions ahead, and I have every confidence that he'll make his way and figure things out. But I'm not going anywhere.
My boy still needs me.