Saturday, August 27, 2011

Part II- reflecting about taking Mac to college

Okay, so it was a good day. The weather held; it didn't rain until around 5:30pm. We had 50 people carry all his crap up to his room. Everyone was nice and helpful. Mac was in good spirits but was nervous. His roommate seemed nice- and right away they figured out they loved the same music. They both have divorced parents so they could understand each other like that. We did a good job of getting stuff for school- we hardly had to buy anything. I was thrilled that I brought XL Twin sheets and Regular Twin sheets so he had the right size, no matter what. His RA was nice and introduced himself and explained the basics to us both. Mac's bed was lofted and a bunch of guys helped him and they were nice. His TV and computer hooked up without a hitch. A bunch of guys came to his room to introduce themselves to Mac, and to me. Student ID's print in 45 seconds, and lines were short. Mac's cell phone has excellent service there. It really was a good day. Really.

It was just strange to leave him there. I did my job as a parent right, I know, because he wanted to be there. He wanted to go. That's what's usually supposed to happen. You have a kid and you raise them and if they want to go to college, you gear everything toward that without being overbearing and you be supportive and then BAM- you find yourself leaving them with 25 strangers in his dorm "hall" and driving away in a borrowed mini-van, crying. Or some variation.

I want him to succeed and do well. Of course I do. What sort of ogre would I be if I didn't want that? I do want him to do well. But I miss him. I wanted him to ask me to stay, or to not go. Or to stand and wave at me as I drove away. But it was like his first day of kindergarten- I dropped him off and he barely closed the car door as he raced up the sidewalk, nary a backward glance. He's been like that always, so I don't know why I thought leaving him at college would be any different. But I still wanted him to stand and look at me.

It's a time of mourning, to a certain extent. You know that? I know what lose is- my mom died a few years ago, so I understand a huge loss to death, and, I have to admit, to a certain extent this feel like that. It's been Mac and me against the world for almost 16 years. Just us. And then there he goes, to start his own life. And things will never be the same again. He won't be coming home again- at least not for good. And no one sends you a sympathy card for this. No one brings a casserole or a noodle salad (Or wine). Instead people joke about it, or talk about empty nest, like it's okay.,

And I know it will be okay. I do.

But right now, my life is a whole different perspective. I never asked for this. I never wanted an empty nest; I can do things with Mac, I always have. I'm used to it. I don't have a husband that I need to "get to know again" like some couples. I don't have a hobby I've neglected. I'm still me, and I'm still Mac's mom, but now Mac is... on his own. And my son is enough of me, he's how I raised him so he will follow his dreams. He's go to college, he'll go to law school, he'll study abroad and probably end up at UC Berkley. I am proud and I do want him to succeed. I do.

But it doesn't make this easier. It doesn't stop me from missing him.

Mac's Mom,


Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

this is a very touching post. I know it's sad when you want the best for someone but it hurts all the same to let them go forward without you. good job, mac's mom. you have done a good job.

Maggie said...

Leslie- thank you, thank you very much, It helps to hear that....