Honestly? There's too much I want to say about Eldest heading off to college at the crack of dawn on Monday. Pete is going to drive him down to UCSD because no one wants to sit with me for 10 hours on the drive day, weeping. And no one, not even that man I married, wants to hear me wail 10 hours back home.
It’s not about me, though. It’s about him, Eldest, Ryan. Yeah, that’s his name. Ryan. It means “Little King.” That’s right, all of you effed-up parents who named daughters “Ryan.” It means “Little. King.” “King.” So, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “Now you know.”
The thing that causes me such distraught right now is how, after the summer of my freshman year of college, I never lived at home again. Never. As in, “never.” Ever. I will watch him leave Monday morning at the crack of dawn and know that he’s gone. And, so, tears. Too many tears.
This is the point that we’ve been leading up to: sending that adult boy who, for better or worse, we helped form into a man.
He is an amazing young man. He is. But he is also every form of him that came before. The colicky little fuck we danced with for weeks on-end for hours on-end so he would just shut the fuck up and go to sleep.
He’s the little boy who stroked my cheek when I passed out on the couch with a newborn daughter sleeping on me. “Are you okay, Mom-mom?”
He’s the lad dressing up in too many costumes to count. A superhero, he was. A future Toastmaster. A boy reading road signs at 3, impressing the shit out of his parents and any other passengers in the car.
He makes his way. We all do.
And when he swears, now, that he is never going to have kids, I believe him. I believe him just as my father believed me when I swore the same thing when he’d say, “You’ll be a great mother” long after I had sworn off ever having kids.
When I believed in that capital-G “God,” I’d ask capital-H “Him” every night for years to keep my kids “safe, healthy, happy and free from harm.”
But Sunday night, I’m going to try my hardest to believe that the capital-G dude exists and that he’ll keep my kids “safe, healthy, happy and free from harm.”
Go on, boy. You got this. It’s a long ride, but it’s worth all of the E tickets in the world.
And, remember, Mom-mom loves you. And you will always remember that here (pointing to his head) and here (pointing to his heart).
Because she does. We all do.