I have never particularly cared for the month of August. It’s either really hot and humid, or it’s dry. School is starting back, summer vacation is over. Both my failed nuptials occurred in August. Two different dates to remember and wince. Made sure my third was in another month, that’s for sure. And now, it’s time to say “au revoir” to my son Rob as he sails away to Vanderbilt to his college dorm and sophomore year.
I don’t anticipate it’s going to be as bad as last year. For one thing, I will watch him and his Dad drive away from home and I will immediately have “things to do”. I will be busy. I am getting ready for a trip to China (!) to visit my niece who is getting her Ph.D. over there. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I am taking advantage of it. I leave on Thursday the 15th. But that just means I will avoid the feelings for a while, until they sneak up on me, probably that night, when I will inevitably walk back in the house, alone.
I have loved having the young one home. It hasn’t been all peaches and cream. We have had a few misunderstandings that have had to be sorted out. But just this morning, I heard the, “Mom!” yell coming from his room, as he brought a pair of new shorts that had gotten Taco Bell spicy ranchero sauce dropped on them last night. “I am so mad this got on there. Can you help me get this out?”. Out came the Oxiclean and a bucket. That’s the stuff I miss when he’s gone. Being needed to get ranchero sauce out. Or to hear him play a guitar chord and ask if I like that one or another one better. Or to tell me about his work day. Just hanging out stuff. Nothing big deal.
He also kids me incessantly. Like when we went to Bed Bath & Beyond the other day. I was looking for those silicone sheets that go on cookie trays that keep food from sticking. He was tagging along. We got to the check-out and the lady looked at me somewhat strangely. “Ma’am, these are the samples. Did you not see the ones in the boxes?”. I am such an impatient shopper, I had just picked up the ones that were out. Rob just shook his head and informed the woman behind the counter that he would add this example of my ineptitude to the long list he had been keeping since he was a child. “Mom, how do you get along in life without me or Dad with you at all times?”, he joked. We laugh, usually at me, a lot.
So it’s time for him to go. What do I know now that I didn’t know this time last year? I know that I can tolerate not hearing his voice for days on end. I know that his Dad and I can have fun together and that our relationship is still strong. I know that I can occupy my time with meaningful things, and that when I miss him terribly, I can text him. He will eventually get back with me. Eventually. I know that he appreciates me letting go. I know that occasionally he still really needs me to mother him, to give him advice. And that he will call when he needs me like that.
This weekend, I will get those shorts clean, make sure he packs his blue blazer (all college boys need a blue blazer), and bake some cookies for him to take back. I will cook chicken and spinach enchiladas, a quite cumbersome task but one of his favorites. I will remind myself NestAche is much more familiar, and much less foreboding than I had thought it would be.
I will still have one more reason to really dislike August.
And by the way, Go Cowboys!!!! Am a Die Hard Fan!!!