I can’t really believe it but we are getting in the car tomorrow to head to Nashville with the task of moving our son Rob out of his freshman dorm. It’s not that it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed. So many people say that to you, “I can’t believe it’s already May” or ,”We’re nearly to summer”. Like somehow they have been napping. I guess I am too OCD to live my life like that. I am too busy making plans in the future not to be aware that tomorrow is always arriving. Sort of wish I could be more of a Rip Van Winkle and wake up in awe that it’s late spring and time to see if I can see the floor of my son’s dorm room. Which is doubtful.
What I find hard to believe is how things have changed in my mind. About my child. And me I guess. He has joined the ranks of people that I love from afar. And I have grown accustomed to it. Maybe it’s not ideal but actually, in my lifetime, quite familiar. I have lived away from my brothers’ families and my parents for most of my life. Now nephews have moved away with their wives, other family in Texas and the Northeast. Some of my best friends are in states that I would have to use GPS to find.
My own “loving from afar” has generally meant pretty low maintenance relationships. The, “We don’t talk much, but we know we love each other” has been a pretty dominant theme. Texting and the Internet has helped a lot really. Makes for more frequent funny or poignant contact. Like pictures of toddlers doing cute things like standing in dishwashers. With Rob, it has meant not hearing his voice much but getting bursts of texts. If he called me this year, I knew he needed to talk about something important. Actually, that felt pretty good.
Our relationship has certainly changed. He is far more independent, although he did ask me to remind him of his guitar final the other day. I texted back that I, of course, loved to be needed again. Texted that morning: “it’s 9 am. do u know where ur guitar is? will need at 3:20 pm 4 exam!”. Mom humor. Think he probably regretted asking.
Last trip to Vandy was a bit difficult. I talked about it in the post “Separate Houses“. I am trying to figure out what the healthiest mindset will be to approach this visit. Maybe I will carry forward the housing metaphor ad nauseum… think of it as going on a tour of Rob’s home, so to speak. An open house. My pots and pans are just not supposed to be hanging there! We will be helping him clear out his dorm room, meeting (and feeding) more friends, storing stuff for the summer, getting him ready to go for his Maymester ( basically a month’s study) in Spain. He leaves next week for that.
There will be more good-byes. He will be saying good-bye to all his new friends as they leave for their summers, looking forward to returning to each other in the fall. I remember that. That will be meaningful watching him do the same. We may meet some of the folks he is going to Spain with, I certainly hope so. And the professor who is leading the class excursion as well. It’s his hometown in Spain, Alicante. Absolutely gorgeous place. I am very excited for Rob to get the opportunity to be surrounded by Spanish language and culture. Maybe even begin to think in Spanish.
I got to do that as well years ago. Was a French major in college, certainly a helpful degree in my life. But lived in Paris for a few months. Soaked up the French way of living. Was so delightfully challenged by communicating in another language and adopting another lifestyle. I always wanted to argue with my French boyfriend in English however since I had a much better chance of winning the argument. Didn’t stand a chance in French as I recall.
Rob’s eventual return to Fayetteville will be in early June. I remember my oldest brother kindly announcing when I arrived home from college in May after my own freshman year that I had become a true hippie. He didn’t mean the cool kind. I promptly went on some kind of weird diet I am sure. Tabs and apples probably. I think I will need to plump Rob up some. He needs some mom food.
So this week, we will say our good-byes and come home. With all his stuff to unload.
I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Please send on to others you might be experiencing a little “NestAche” themselves!!! And thanks so much for reading!!