My heart is full today. Full with love, hope and gratitude for my first born. I delivered him to the steps of Babcock Dorm on the green and misty campus of Wake Forest University this morning. My heart is full of excitement for him as he launches into his first big solo adventure, one that he is more than ready and eager for. My heart is also heavy with sadness, missing him. We have such fun joking around together, appreciating the quirky side of life. He’s grown into such an interesting, insightful, thoughtful and confident young man. I’ll miss spending time with him; although, yes, since he entered high school it’s mostly been an hour here and there instead of afternoons or days. I keep ping ponging back and forth between gratitude and sadness, as I’m also excited about his life on campus surrounded by beauty and ideas and all the possibilities that lay before him.
Mostly I’ll miss knowing that my boy was safe, sleeping in his bed each night. I’ll miss knowing that no matter what he ate the rest of the day, he started out with a banana and a decent breakfast. I’ll miss most having a little window into his world as I noticed his walk, how he carried his shoulders, or if he had a little smile or frown on his face when he walked in the door each night. Even though he didn’t talk with me much about how things were going with his friends or girlfriend, I would catch the tone, although not the words, of his phone conversations on the other side of the wall and know if things were solid or rocky that week. I’ll miss that unspoken connection and insight.
Technically he’s only a few miles away since we’re both still living in Winston-Salem, but the reality is that it feels like a hundred miles. It’s time for him to fly and he needs his space to be independent. I’m dying to text him to see how it’s going. I keep wanting to put a short lunch or coffee with him on my calendar next week so I can hear how his entry into college life is going. So he can tell me funny stories about his floor mates, the person who works at the lunch counter, or the professor who seems more connected to outer space than the classroom. We’re still in the same town after all. But I won’t text or call. I’ll maintain radio silence until he reaches out. And although part of me hopes it will be soon, another part of me hopes he’ll be so busy exploring, making new friends and finding his way, that calling his mom to reconnect will be the last thing on his mind. If I had to bet on it, I’d pick the later. In my heart I’ll tell him what I used to say when I dropped him off for a play date…
Go have fun Nicholas, and be your best self.
I love you to the moon and back,