"I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry." That was my mantra yesterday as my 23 year old son prepared to leave for his new life-adventure. He just accepted a job in Florida. You'd think that his five years in college would have prepared me for this letting go. He's lived in his own apartment for the last year, and his busy schedule prevented his dad and I from seeing him that often. Still, he was a college student then, only an hour away. Today he is a man; a man leaving for his first "real" job. A man about to live 0ver 500 miles from "home". A man making his own "home".
This is not his first adventure into the world. Just over 23 years ago he made his grand entrance - at 5:30 am. A few weeks before his arrival I remember thinking how difficult "letting go" would be. And it was painful, even with an epidural. Not just physically painful, but emotionally as well. He would no longer be a literal part of me. I might not always know exactly where he was or how he was doing. I wouldn't be aware of his every movement. Of course I wouldn't have stopped it for the world. There were exciting adventures to have and new discoveries to make. Many of these we made together. I cheered as he took his first steps and was his biggest fan during baseball season, basket ball season, football season. (You get the picture.)
Here I am at another "letting go". One an epidural won't even touch. My heart aches, my head aches, and, yes, I cried. (After he left.) Yet, this is not so much different from 23 years ago. He is moving a little farther from the influence and safety of "home" to a place less connected with my own life. Today I remind myself again I wouldn't stop this for the world. He has exciting adventures to have, more discoveries to make, new goals to achieve. And just as I cheered his first step across the floor, I will cheer this first step across the world.