Monday, August 15, 2011

Memory Week

Mac and I were sitting on the porch yesterday morning, talking and laughing about nonsense. Then he was begging me to watch all 6 of the Star Wars movies and I was refusing and he said it was memory week and I should do what he wanted since he would be leaving!

I know he was just joking around, trying to get me to see movies I didn't want to see but it struck a chord.

Memory Week.

Memory Week.

I've wanted to smack Mac most of the last year- his senior year- and have even pondered thoughts of dropping him off at school months early, with a tent so he can stay on the college lawn, for Pete's sake, but it was a reality smack for me at the fact that he leaves in 6 days. 6 days. 6 days.

I've spent the entire 18 years of Mac's life trying to give him wings- yes, a cheesy cliche, but it's so true. But I have. And I want him to fly. He does fly- in 6 days. I can't very well play the weepy mom card now, after I've been trying to teach him to be strong, to achieve success, to be independent, to chase his dreams, to let him know he can be anything, go anywhere.... I can't fall to pieces and beg him to stay home, to move to his college town, to hug him and not stop hugging. I can't do those things, because I can't let him have any more doubts or fears than those that are natural to a kid going to college and leaving home for the first time.

But what if. I'm full of what ifs. What if he fails? What if he succeeds? What if he hates college? What if he loves it? What if he moves away? What if he moves home? What if he.... There's a million of these. I've played the "what if" game before and I know that's bad, bad, bad thing to do, that nothing good can come from it. But I seem to be plagued with the "what ifs."

Memory Week.

Memory Week.

This is memory week.

I've walked around for several days with butterflies in my stomach and my heart knocking in my chest. Knocking to the point where I swear you could see it beat through the skin. And the stomach butterflies are the kind you get in a situation of the total unknown. Not fluttering like a roller coaster or like waiting for a root canal sitting in the dentist chair, but some combination of the two. How can I go all this week with a thudding heart and a fluttering stomach?

I know he's not dead and I know I will see him again. But I won't see him every day. I won't know where he's going with whom. If I'm honest, I'm not completely sure of that now but he tells me he's going with Ryan or Nick or Joe, and I know if I call Ryan or Nick or Joe I could track him down if necessary. I know that each day I will see him. I can see the blue of his eyes, or hear him tell me some outrageous story or utter some preposterous theory or play me some crazy song. I won't know when he's sad or glad.

How do you let someone go that's been your responsibility, your air, your life, for 18 years?

Someone told me I'll mourn. Okay. I'll probably drive Daddy-O nuts over the next few weeks, wonderful about Mac, asking "so, what do you think Mac's doing?" Can I ask him that about a 100 times a day and have him not want to kill me*? It's easier to NOT miss Mac when he's being a jerk or a turd. When he's being sweet and charming and funny, the normal child I've known (until his senior year) then it wrenches at my heart and twists my gut. And next Saturday I have to smile, unpack his stuff, be excited over EVERYTHING, reassure him, and give him a small hug and drive away with a smile when all I really want to do is cry.

Memory week.

Damn memory week. I'm dreading it.

Mac's mom,

*(An Aside- and Daddy-O won't want to kill me. I don't want people to think he's a heartless guy. He's let me move away and my brother. He knows the loss of an empty nest and he knows real loss with the loss of his wife, and so he will let me mourn. More than any other person I know, he's known grief and he will never deny me the right to miss my child...)


Jimmie Earl said...

Nope! No denial on this end. Mac has become "my child" too since moving in here a year and a half ago. I will miss him. His smiles, his frowns, his ups, his downs. But I too, want him to not only fly, I want him to soar. To be all he can and wants to be. Be it an International Lawyer, or a surfer in Malibu. You and I know he can do it all, and giving him wings and letting him soar is everyone's responsibility. Yours, mine, and the people at college.
JE aka Dad

Curley said...

I think you should let Mac see how much you will miss seeing him every day and that you should also tell him just how much you will miss him. That you are there for him to call and talk to when he needs. Just think how hard it would be without cell phones. I know it a cliche', but it will get easier.

Lily said...

I hear ya girl. I just sent my 18 yr old off 3,000 miles from home. She picked the farthest college. I'm putting up a good front though, only crying in the closet. Hang in there. I heard it gets easier :)

Shan said...

I can only try and imagine the anxiety you have about this and I wish you had some of those tiny calming pills my doctor gave me once when I was stressed to the max. Lorazapam-that was it...gooood stuff. Saying a prayer for you all in this busy crazy life change.