Saturday, October 8, 2011

Altered States: California & Utah

It has been 8 days since we enrolled our son in a new school out of state.   When you lose a parent as an adult you mourn your past.  You mourn your own childhood, your foundational memories, and from when you came.  When you are separated from your child earlier than planned, you mourn your future.  By no means is my son's attendance at a school in another state equal to the loss of a child, however, an unplanned separation has similar elements.

My son is a very social child, making friends wherever he goes and easily adapting to new environments.  It is the sustaining these environments that are a challenge.  I hear that all is going well, friends are being made, football is being played, and there has even been a visit to the nurse.  All very normal behaviors.  That is great!

However, seeing that face every day and watching that boy asleep is a large adjustment.  Hearing about the mundane, the everyday, the small and minute facial changes are now lost to me.  Watching him morph from a child to a young man won't happen on my watch.  It will be done from afar and I miss the immediacy of our relationship.

Saying good-bye to him was gut wrenching.  I tried my best to keep a "stiff upper lip" but that was futile.  Hugging him and not wanting to let go was a bit overwhelming to him.  I just couldn't stop holding him.  He pulled away and told said to me, "it is o.k., it is just like college."

Coming back and being in my home the last eight days, I feel lost, unmoored, as if I have lost a limb.  I miss his voice, his smell, his looming body.  I miss watching him sleep, dance, his ideas and thoughts.  I miss the metamorphosis into a young man and I miss the successes at school and with friends.  I just miss a lot.

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