From the moment they are born they take our breath away and we spend every minute protecting them. Through smiles of encouragement we facilitate their growth. We teach them how to talk, walk, and interact with others to be the best possible person they can be. We support all of their talents and endeavors from baseball to dancing, cheer them on when they soar and wipe their tears when they fall. Our hearts break when theirs do and burst at the smallest of fêtes. They are our children and what feed our souls.
Every waking moment is a memory that buries itself somewhere within to be tapped into later. Time really is fleeting because all of it is wasted cooking, cleaning, shopping, and working which takes away from so many more memories that could have been made to help fill that void when they leave. The efforts to make sure they could read, do well in school, and reinforce their talents are valiant ones when the search for colleges begins and lead to amazing prospects. 18 years of preparing, 18 years of cementing their future, and you would think pride would be enough to keep a mom from breaking down.
Sure, half of the tears are for how proud you are of them; proud of how he was such a gentleman offering his hand to shake those of his new roommates and their parents; proud of the few tears he was man enough to shed on the ride in; proud that he is going to an amazing university, proud that he knew so many people already upon his arrival, but the other half is letting go; letting go of the tiny little hand you used to hold on the way to Kindergarten that he held so tight; letting go of the tears you wiped away before he went into class; letting go of the hysterical belly laughs from blowing farts on his tummy; letting go of bedtime rituals such as story time, book time, prayer time and song time; letting go of waking up everyday to the most beautiful smile you had ever seen and letting them fly with the skills you have worked 18 years to provide them with.
Those memories do come flooding back in moments of emotional strain. All of them, even the ones that you wished you could do over are pushed to the front of the brain and wham, he is standing there with his little back pack and pouting face and your heart is melting fast. No one prepares a mother for this. We hear about it, but are not ready for the emotions that come. We all never really finish growing up. Even though a child may be away at school, or married with their own children, they never stop needing the unconditional love, support and guidance of a parent.
I am very thankful for my husband, children, friends and Facebook friends for the support I have received through this time of growth. They have been extremely helpful. Those of us whom appear tough are really the ones who are the weakest inside. Most of all, I am Proud of my son and cannot wait to hear all about this new phase of his life and all of the memories he is creating. I love you Frankie!