It’s definitely time to update how I feel about the kid being gone to college in the big city. He’s been living ‘on his own’ now for two months. It’s hard to describe how I feel. Most days I would tell you that “Oh no, I don’t miss him.” But this, of course, is not the case. I don’t pine for him either though. And I’m not sad. The feeling is a mother who cannot read the little signs that tell her how her son is really doing.
In many ways, I enjoy not having him home. (Sorry, son! Not to be confused with not loving you!) He took up a lot of space – as young men do when they get older. Tall, gangly, shedding socks in some magical way. The upstairs hallway doesn’t smell of his deodorant after he’s done in the shower in the morning. I can’t hear him and his brother bicker. I don’t have to listen for the garage door to know he’s home safe. His room is no longer a mess (I fixed that, finally!) And well, more of that sort of stuff.
But of course I miss him! He’s such a fun, bright, caring young man. His brother is not quite as reliable at bringing groceries in from the car when he hears me (Oh – I didn’t know you were home). He is funny. And I DON’T KNOW HOW HE REALLY IS DOING. His father would tell me that’s how it is supposed to be. He is growing up, and that is a good thing. And I really feel that way too. But it’s hard. He tells me he’s happy – that he’s really loving the whole experience. I’m betting that’s true. But I don’t know if he keeps something back. BECAUSE I CAN’T TELL! He has always been keen to do the ‘right’ ‘polite’ thing. To tell me what I want to hear. And that makes me worry he’s just trying not to worry me. (or something like that). Is he lonely? Does he enjoy it there? Does he hate the roommate that he’s mentioned is a bit of a problem of weekends? Does he know he can probably fix that issue? What are his friends like? Does he feel comfortable with them?
It’s like the first day of 1st grade or Kindergarten, except lasting much much much longer.
I’m OK – I don’t want to sound like I’m whiny or feeling purposeless or feeling frantic. But there are these underlying things that I feel. And I think it’s just hard for a Mom. Because the role never stops.