Sunday, August 23, 2015

Growing Up

I am sitting in the airport in North Carolina, waiting for my solo flight home.  I check Facebook and my feed is filled with bittersweet photos of my friends, backseats full of suitcases and bedding, grinning, slightly anxious teenagers in front of brick buildings, or snapshots of dorm rooms neatly organized for perhaps the first and last time all year. People are reposting cartoons of mothers clinging to trees and wonderful articles about letting go of your orbiting little planets.

Used with permission from

The thing is, it doesn't get any easier the second time around. It's different, because they are rushing back to a known universe, without the t-shirted volunteers and established institutional agendas for entry. They have things in storage and roommates they chose. I was there almost strictly for logistical support...a last good meal, the Target run, the rental car with a big trunk.  The need for me clearly receded with every load hauled up the stairs*.

Yes, this is as it should be. Yes, I accept and understand and, in unselfish moments, rejoice in this grown person who does not look back when I drive away**.

But I should still have brought my dark sunglasses to wear on the flight home. Especially because this song was on the radio as I dropped him off.

I'll be patient, one more month 
You'll wrap your fingers round my thumb 
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if 
I'm the person you become 
If I'm still growing up, up, up, up 
I'm still growing up, up, up, up...

I still feel those tiny fingers, round my thumb.

* In case I missed any of his subtle exit cues, there were several actual glares yesterday before I left for my hotel.  This is why I should not be allowed to do this alone.  Last year my husband forcibly removed me from his room.  I did redeem myself today by singlehandedly setting up a dual band wireless networkin 15 minutes flat, and buying him a large Mighty Meat pizza for late night leftover purposes.

** Of course. parents' weekend is a month away, so I'll be right back, full of resolve to be mature and independent.  Like my kid.


  1. My daughter left Friday morning to fly off to Boston (with my husband). I have been a blubbering mess all weekend. It's a wake around here, and I am not being glib. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Blessings to you, for getting there first, and sharing your insight.

    1. I so know what you are going through! It's like your heart is breaking (with loss) and bursting (with pride) at the same time. Either way it hurts like hell. They have epidurals for childbirth...someone should invent an anesthetic for this, too!

  2. Oh my goodness...I am impressed you could even listen to the song "Growing Up" Macklacmore and Ryan Lewis. Well, at least not whilst driving. We can get through this. We can get through this. WE can. I hope they come up with anesthetic for this, too.
    Crysta Martell

    1. The best medicine I know is good friends. Hands down!