When my son came home from college for an extended Thanksgiving holiday a few weeks ago, he walked through the door with a new, nearly irresistible grin that said he really did miss me. Ha! I told him this day would eventually come, though I didn’t mention my score aloud. Because I’m totally a coward, you know.
That never-before-seen grin was accompanied by his usual greeting, “Hi, Mom.” And at that very moment, I heard myself breathe a fantastic sigh of relief.
I explained how the what-if-momster rears her ugly head in Motherhood Doesn’t Get Easier, You Just Grow Stronger back in June over at What The Flicka? That’s where the sigh came from. Knowing I would kick her ass for the next several days before she could best me again after my boy headed back to school.
My family had been so busy this past summer that it was almost fleeting. I hate that. I’m that person; the one who lives in fear of missing out on the best moments in life because it seems to be moving too fast.
First there was graduation. And the graduation party. His 18th birthday. All the shopping and packing. And then there was college move-in day. I’ll never forget the lump in my throat and the painful stab at my heart as I held back the tears when I hugged him good-bye. I knew I had to be strong for his sake, and I was. Until I got to my car.
So needless to say, after a year filled with life’s chaos, the good, the bad and the ugly, I was looking forward to the start of the holiday season. Family and friends gathered for our traditional Thanksgiving at my parents’ dinner table again this year. My son talked about cleaning up nuclear power. My daughter watched her brother quietly with adoration. And I sat between my two children, slowly inhaling every priceless moment.
A few short days later, I watched as he drove away from home and that old, green Pontiac disappeared from sight once again. There were clearly two thoughts floating around in my head at that time. One—We’ve always loved our cranberry sauce from a can, my son and I. And two—Dude, you’re really kind of amazing.
Then that bitch what-if-momster immediately stepped back into my path to remind me that motherhood doesn’t get easier.