This weekend my son Rob has been down in Florida with eighty of his closest friends.  To his credit, he has texted me both days.  The language he has used has been a bit interesting.  “Survived day two” was the latest text, sent at 3:40 am.  Music to a mother’s ears.  I texted back, “Glad to c u r getting ur rest”.  But I am extremely grateful for the updates, especially after the news story this past week about the two 19 year-olds who went hiking and got lost.  Found thank goodness.  I have been a little surprised by the texts actually, although I asked him to try to remember to send a couple.  I don’t get this kind of communication when he’s at school.  Hmm.  My grandmother’s teachings come to mind.  “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”.  Actually I don’t remember my grandmother ever saying that particular thing, but it sounds like something she would say.  One of her favorites that I do remember was, “There’s many a slip ‘tween the cup and the lip”.  I love that one.  I.E.  you can never really predict what’s going to happen.

This was my college senior year formal dress. Looks like I was trying to look sexy. My dad took this picture so it must have been okay!

This was my college senior year formal dress. Looks like I was trying to look sexy. My dad took this picture so it must have been okay! Gosh I look so serious…Black dress…No sweat stains!

Back to Rob.  This was his “formal” weekend.  In MY day, formals were dances.  You dressed up, maybe got a corsage.  I remember trying to find a dress that wouldn’t show sweat stains.   Rob’s fraternity and their dates rode buses down to Panama City from Nashville.  A whole weekend of activities was planned.  I think there might have been some kind of big party on Saturday night.  Probably on Friday night as well.  Maybe they wore swim suits to the formal.  I really don’t know.  He’s a guy so didn’t offer much information before they went.  All I know is that he was excited and worked really hard to get his academic stuff done so he could go with a clear conscience.  I was impressed.

I am beginning to get used to the idea that he has this life that I hear about in bits and pieces.  I am not sure why it is getting easier.  Maybe I am simply becoming more accustomed to it.  It’s not so strange anymore.

And we have plans together.  That really helps.  Something I can hang my hat on – look forward to.  Rob has earned a spot in an immersion program where students go live in Spain for almost a month.  That’s going to happen in May and we are going to join him there in early June.  This will be a treat.  His Dad and I, completely dependent on him for all communication with the outer world, except for those folks who we can find that speak English!  Ought to be revealing, to say the least.  I know absolutely nothing about Spain so will spend the month of May cramming information about culture, food, tradition, history, places to visit, etc.  Feel so lucky to be able to go and so excited for Rob to take the lead in this way.  It will be very cool I think.  All I know at the moment is “Donde esta el bano?”  (“Where is the bathroom?”).  Except of course I will not be able to understand the answer.  I was a French major in college and can still speak fairly well so maybe that will translate a bit.  We shall see.

So I assume my son will be back in Nashville and Vanderbilt today.  Maybe he is already.  Communication will be back to next to none.  The play I am in opens this Friday.  My extensions are starting to fall out, just a couple at a time. That stinks.  Hope enough of them stay in so that I can get my hair to be BIG.  That was the point.  BIG hair.

We will see Rob briefly when we move him out of his dorm in early May and then he is off to Spain.  Like I said.  Bits and pieces.  But he still needs us.  That is becoming more clear as well.  It is more clear what he really still needs us for.  Occasional advice, hearing and caring about his life, giving him sincere support, affirmation for choices he is making, loving him like no one else does.  I am learning this in my heart.  And it is healing.


You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

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