It’s the time of the season that reminds me what a wonderful world it is. In both a happy and sad sort of way. This month last summer, I was helping my youngest child and only son head off to college. Loose in the wonderful world. It was hard. Tomorrow, I will watch this time from the front porch as he packs up his belongings and heads out again. I’m afraid that it will also be difficult, but hopefully not as much so as last year, when I was dumbstruck and wondering what happened to the little boy that I used to take to sign up for little league baseball. He’s still there, sometimes I see a glimmer of him. Something in the eyes, something in his sometimes confusion, something in his asking mom’s advice, something in the excitement to be free.
But every year, he gets a bit taller, a bit more confident, and I also see a glimmer of a polished young man, a young man who is ready to make his own way in this world. There’s still a bond that ties him home, but also an impulse, a yearning for adventure. The teenage boy defiance that once scorched our arguments is gone now. He has developed good habits, he is more orderly about picking up his things, about taking responsibility. Dare I admit it, but he has grown up. I wonder if there will ever be a time when I can watch him leave without tears welling up in my eyes, without that awful heaviness catching in the center of my throat, without that sinking in the pit of my stomach. I believe that time will come, but until then, I suppose that I’m not the only girl around who has had her heart broken by a cute college boy.