It’s a big day here – in fact it has been a pretty big summer – family transition-wise that is. I can’t help but think about it – as it feels all immersive. Changes for sure are a constant, day-to-day, moment-to-moment everything is in a constant state of flux – and though at times it can feel rather subtle and almost unnoticeable, that has not been the case on the home front these days. I feel like we are all, my little family and I, going through some major milestones lately – which has the net result of raising emotional levels on all scores and creating a lot of both reflective and anticipatory thinking.
My fifteen year old son has been away in New Hampshire for the last seven weeks, working as a camp counselor at a boys’ camp. He returns home this evening! And I have to tell ya – it’s a big deal. Never have either of my boys been away from home for more than a week ever before in their lives. Not only that, but at fifteen, this was his first job, aside from walking the neighbor’s dog and doing household chores. I went up to visit him last weekend and I couldn’t help but marvel at what a wonderful young man he has become, not that I hadn’t noticed him moving in this direction before, but, “Wow”. There before me was a 6′ 2″, handsome, composed, confident, bright and dryly, funny young man. The same child who went away several weeks earlier, but somehow more “complete”. Watching him transform from his role as the “younger brother” who followed his sibling’s every move as a little boy – into the presence that he is today has been a glorious experience for me. I can’t wait to give him a big, fat hug and am positively anticipating seeing what he will be like in the upcoming year.
And in the meantime, the plan is to go “back-to-school” shopping with his older brother today. (As soon as I finish this blog as a matter of fact.) But this isn’t any regular back-to-school trip – today we are going off to buy him the things he will need when he goes off to college in a couple of weeks! Notebooks, and pens will come later, today we are looking for a mini-refrigerator, a small microwave and the like. Holy cow – my baby is soon to be leaving home. On Friday, he and I spent the day together, visiting an art museum in the city and taking in lunch, it was lovely. And again – as I sat – looking at this beautiful young man – I couldn’t help but to have my heart swell with joy, excitement, wonder and some sadness. This is it – that launching that you anticipate for eighteen years – it is here – and I guess we are both ready. It surely wasn’t always easy – but what a gift and a privilege it has been. Though no one knows what will come – you know that this shift is huge – and going forward interactions will always be a little different.
I am filled with nostalgic memories of my two boys, and with a heart-tugging bittersweetness as I look forward along side of them at their futures. Changes happen every day, but these ones feel particularly big. My babies, my boys, my young men – always cherished – always loved – they fill my heart with pride and joy. I will miss what was – and look forward to what will be.