Today we start packing. Tyler, my youngest son, is going back to college a week early to get organized, meet his counsellor, and look for a part-time job. This is the third time he has left for school. The first year was hard, but I was excited for him. The second year was hard but I was glad he was continuing his education. This third year—it is still hard. But, nevertheless, I have found some things to be grateful for:
1. He has become an independent being, able to do his own laundry, cook for himself, and schedule his time. He is not perfect with all these things—but neither am I, and I have had more practice.
2. I will continue my tradition of writing my little emails to him every day. The Governor General of Canada did the same thing when his girls were in post-secondary school, so I figure that gives me the freedom to do the same. I know that the only responses I will get will be “meh”, or when I ask him to write back, he taps this little note to me: “back”.
3. I am grateful that he is just on the other end of the phone and that I am one of his frequent ten phone pals (so not only is the call free, I take this as a sign that he “likes” me.)
I am happy that he is going to school – I truly am. And I know that at 21 it is not unusual for kids not to live at home—they have a whole world out there waiting for them. But I often wonder where the heck did the time go? One day they are trying to get a bird to land on their hand (oh, the innocence of little ones) and the next they are flying free themselves.
The worst part of this whole exercise is after we have helped him move into his home away from home. When we take our leave, he always stands in the driveway and waves at us until we are out of sight. This gets me every time (yes I am tearing up as I write this), but I have done it many times before and I will do it again.
Grateful thing number 4 just for today: I still have him home for two more days!