I waved at the bus as it drove off, this morning. My 17 year old son, Khalil was on that bus. He was leaving for his 1st college tour to the East Coast. As the bus pulled away, I was transported back to his first day of pre-k. His teacher said he always kept her honest. He would stand behind her during story time and make sure she read all the words. Now, in the next two weeks he will enter his Senior year in high school. And here I am wondering where the time went. My baby is now a young man. A young man hopefully going off to college in a year's time. Part of me hopes he stays in Illinois for college, so I can see him on the weekends and cook for him and stuff like that. But the other side of me hopes he goes away, so he can properly spread his wings and discover himself and all that the world has to offer.
It can be so hard to watch your children grow up and move on. It's like one minute you were carrying them in your arms and changing their bottoms and now you are helping them look over college apps and essays. This is a very emotional time for me. It is a huge time of change. I already have a son the same age I was when I had him and I have already warned my teen-aged son to be ready for fits of uncontrollable crying and lots of random hugs. I want to inhale his possibly last full year home and just bottle it. There have been so many times just today, that I wanted to show him something, or say something to him only to remember that he wasn't here. It tugged at my heart every time. WOW! If I am like this just hours into a 5 day trip, I may need to be sedated when he leaves for those dorms. I really will try and hold it together but, this is hard.
As I fuss at my two younger sons about getting ready for bed, I notice how much they too have grown in the past year. My baby boys are no longer babies at all. My 10 year old is almost my height and he has the same sized feet! I told them a million times today about holding on to me or laying on my shoulder. "Get off of me", I said to them over and over again. But, I was really holding on to each precious moment because soon like their brother, they will be moving on to the next part of their lives. I have often wondered, if I knew ahead of time how heart-wrenching being a parent is, would I have done it? Yes, I would. They drive me crazy, make me cry, make my heart swell with pride. But they are my boys. They are the light of my life.
Tonight, I hold on to the hope that letting them go will enrich our bond as mother and sons. I pray they find their way, live their dreams and always know that I love them with all my heart.