Sep 22, 2017

End of an Era

9/22/2017 — cori
This was the heart-wrenching moment my baby left me.

Wednesday marked the passing of an era. No one else in the world was aware of it but me. That's because it was immensely personal. My firstborn left for college -the one who taught me how to be a mom. That little boy is all grown up and off on his own - in a different state none-the-less - living independently. Knowing all along it would happen - that this is the way it's supposed to be - and it actually happening are two very different things. 

This is how full the car was. Not too bad considering all the stuff that was crammed in there. It was imperative (to him) that he bring his desktop computer and two monitors, new bike, desk chair, all his clothes, his bedding and pillows (2 plus the decorative throw pillows as well), his laptop, backpack, suitcase full of clothes and a travel bag. Chuck and Gavin made the two-day trip through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California together.

Move in day! This is what he's going to call home for the next year. I couldn't be prouder of him. He's so ready to do this. His dorm cluster is called Middle Earth. Every dorm in Middle Earth is named after a place or character in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Since we (everyone but Gavin) were previously clueless as to all that entailed, we promptly did a family movie binge to learn all that we needed to know. Gavin is staying in Mystic Mountain. I now know that's a good place. I'd be much more worried if he was staying in Mount Doom.

Through this process I've learned that there's enough room to hold both the happiness and sadness, the excitement and nervousness, the known and unknown in my heart all at once. I don't have to accept only one feeling, I can be okay with all of them at the same time. It's a beautiful representation of the paradox of life. Millions of parents over the eons have survived their children leaving home. I'm just the next one in line...that's all. It reminds me of a song I used to do with the boys when they were little, "We're going on a bear hunt":

We're going on a bear hunt.
We're going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We're not scared.


A forest! A big dark forest.

We can't go over it.
We can't go under it.
Oh no! We've got to go through it!

It went on and on. In each stanza you'd encounter some new scary obstacle. What I didn't know then was that this little diddy was preparing me for the day my little boy became an adult. I would indeed face many obstacles: fears, worries, immense sadness, and loneliness. And I wouldn't be able to go around any of these obstacles, I'd have to walk straight through them. But it's in walking through them that I become a better person. It's the struggles that make life better, believe it or not. To quote Winnie the Pooh:  "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

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