As I write this, I am holding back the biggest lump in my throat, trying not to cry simply so that I can still see the computer screen while I muddle my way through today’s article. You see, tomorrow is my son’s official last day at home as the little boy that I have raised, (with the loving help of so many others along the way).
The practical side of me knows that this is the best thing for Alexander; that he has been preparing for this moment for a while now, and has shown clear signs that it is time to move on and do things more independently. But the mom in me wants him to stay at home just a while longer, wants just one more hug, just one more conversation across from each other at supper time, just one more late night of helping to edit an English essay and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.
And yes, there is Skype, there is Facetime and random Snapchats, but ultimately, that is not the same as the sheer presence of my baby boy.
Ok, now I am definitely crying.
I hate using the cliché of time going by in a blink of an eye, but there really is truth in it. Just yesterday I was reading bed time stories and listening to his breathing as he slept in my arms. Seriously, that was JUST yesterday.
In this hectic game of life, time passes on. And I am running through all of the life lessons that we have gone through together and all that we have talked about over the years, and am concerned that I may have missed something really important along the way.
Will he remember that if you put your towels and bed sheets together in the wash and dry, you will have very uncomfortable sheet? Will he remember to eat fruit and vegetables every day so he doesn’t get scurvy? Will he remember to use his manners and say please and thank you and open doors for others? Will he make sure to take his room key with him everywhere he goes? Alex is notorious for forgetting his keys.
There will be struggles and they will be real. I remember that I too once lost my keys and the only solution after many failed attempts at finding them was to call my mother. My mom of course did not have the power to find my keys, but she did have the power to calm me down in my heightened stress, and get me to just slow down and think hard. I found them while I still had the phone to my ear.
Sometimes you just need your mom. I hope Alex remembers that when times are tough, even if it’s just the small things, we are all just a phone call away. Who am I kidding….the kid is going to be bombarded with perpetual texts daily from all of us!
And he is going into a completely different lifestyle as well. Moving to a big city is a huge eye opener for someone that was born at Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital and raised in “the new townsite” all of his life.
He is going to see a vehicle that looks like mine or his dads or grandpa’s, and he is going to want to wave. Or he will wave and then he’ll get a funny look. People will not look him in the eye as he is accustomed to, because everyone knows everyone in a small town and we all look each other in the eye and say hi.
He will realize that everyone has different life philosophies, and it doesn’t mean that his lifestyle is the “right” one, it’s just different than others and will have to remember to be open to that. He will see that there are extremes in the sorrows of the world and will be exposed to that, and will have to make decisions on what he chooses to do in those situations all by himself.
He will also experience awesome things that he would not be able to enjoy anywhere but in the city, from having access to fresh markets full of worldly delights, to going to a movie theatre and having a big vat of buttery popcorn.
Concerts and museums are at his disposal. He’ll be able to explore, all at his own pace, and all on public transit. Ha ha ha. And I have to remember that when I came home for holidays while in university, it was sooo nice to open up the door and just have the smells and feelings of being home flood over me. It was nice to raid the fridge and just be taken care of for a few days again.
I appreciated what I had so much more after I left my parent’s home, and I know that Alex will too. It was the experience of living without that made me realize what I had lived with. I have a countdown app on my phone, and now it is going to be perpetually reminding me of when I will be seeing Alexander again and I will wait for those times in total anticipation.
I have always been good at occupying my time, and will continue to do so, so that when my baby boy and I are together again, that time can be completely spent enjoying each other’s company and catching up on life.
I love you, Alexander and wish you nothing but success and happiness in this game called life. Go get ‘em, buddy.