Thrilled and devastated at the same time.
I’m thrilled because my son, who I had when I was 21 years old, was accepted into Waterloo University. He’s chosen to live at college so at the beginning of September we packed all his things and moved him into his tiny little dorm on campus.
When I say we, I mean I folded and fretted and packed way too much and agonized over what he wasn’t bringing with him.
His father moved him. I didn’t get to go for another two weeks. This was the agreed upon time that we had all decided was a safe margin for me to visit. And I admit fully that the both of them were right. I was definitely at risk of doing one of three things:
- Yelling at someone about their incompetence and therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends.
- Getting frustrated about something and making a big scene, and perhaps throwing something out a window and therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends
- Cry hysterically and beg him to come home, therefor humiliating my 18 year old son in front of his new potential friends.
Yes, one or all of these was an absolute certainty. I admit my fuse is short, and lit 12 months of the year. And truthfully I wasn’t sure how I was going to react when the time finally came. I’d never sent a child to college before. I’d never had one move out. I’d never been away from him for more than 5 days in his entire life, and even then he was with family. We were young when we had him and I grew up while I was raising him, so we kind of became adults together in a lot of respects.
So I let his dad move him. I packed, I shopped, and ok, I cried a little, but he still wouldn’t cave and let me hold hands like we used to in the car when he was a toddler.
I’m thrilled, I’m proud. I am so happy that I’ve raised a smart, confident, driven man who is ready to be out on his own and take his place in the world. That’s my job. That’s always been my job. And he’s been a success on every level.
But I also feel like half of my personality went with him. There’s a strange empty space there that I can’t quite describe. It’s not good, it’s not bad, but it’s ultra-weird to be sure. It feels like I’m only half the person I was two months ago. Everyone tells me it will pass, but I’m not so sure.
Until then, I DO get to visit now, and I got to bring him all that stuff he insisted he didn’t need and then texted me for later. He keeps me updated on his classes and he’s making friends and loving his life. So although I’m a bit adrift, I am happy for him and hopeful that if I’m needed he will call.
But he still won’t hold hands.