The top pick in this college quest was way beyond our reach. The cost was laughable. There was NO WAY we could provide for that on our own. And there was great freedom in that. We were able to encourage him to go for it, and remind him that the only way it could happen is if the Lord created a way. He was fully, completely and totally confident about it. I was the realist. I know he saw me as the pessimist, but in truth I was just a realist. After a year full of deadlines followed by waiting, applications followed by waiting, auditions followed by waiting ~ so. much. waiting. ~ he received his official acceptance and scholarship offer to his top pick: such a generous scholarship that it costs us considerably less to send him to his dream school than it would cost to send him to a public school in our state.
So it was settled. My little boy's dream would take him across the country, just about as far away as you could go and still be in the same nation.
Now here we are a year later. I've learned a lot about mothering my young-adult son. Knowing I get to do this two more times with my girls, I thought it would be good to reflect on what I've learned:
* The goodbye hurts more than I even imagined it would. The moment of getting the last hug is both numbing and wretchedly painful. And I survived it.
* Continually telling myself that it wasn't about me was helpful. Keeping my mind on things from his perspective helped my perspective stay in check.
* The first couple months, when I wanted to be clingy and constantly in contact was when I most needed to give him space. He was transitioning, adjusting, finding his way, growing up. He needed space to do that.
* He did call or text when he needed something. He knew we were here for him.
* Time. Things just took time. We all had adjustments to make, and allowing that to happen over time is the only way to get through the transition.
* My prayers were vital.
* Sending packages, whether necessities of just fun things, were good for me and him.
* Although he has always appreciated us, I think his appreciation has grown over his time away. I think he believes us that we are on his side.
* Technology is my friend. I get to see his face in pictures, I get to send/receive messages in texts and emails, I get to occasional skype with him and see for myself how he is. Just like when he was a baby and I could decipher his cries, I can look at his eyes, hear his voice, and decipher how he truly is.
* The investment of time and teaching has not returned void. He listened and learned.
* I still laugh when he laughs (mostly), still hurt when he hurts, still ache to make everything okay for him, still wonder about what's coming, and I still would feel better if he was here. Yet this is the reality of the season we are in. And it's still not about me and what I want. It's about him pursuing his future, and I'm so proud of him for following his passion and doing it with such integrity.
* And mostly what I've learned is that despite being 2,811 miles apart, despite being 6'3", he's still my little boy. Time, age, distance...nothing will change that.