I think it must be happening; I may be recovering from the syndrome.
Two days ago, I ran from job to job to appointment to errand and in between my last errand and my violin lesson, I stopped in to say 'see you later' to the boy. He's headed to a certain university in New York city.
Clean shaven, packed and ready, he stands in Maggie's living room. Cicadas' symphony berates my ears, but I hear him say "Everything I need to start my new life, right here."
One large borrowed suitcase, one backpack, one pillow and one sleeping bag.
I didn't have to give the lecture; the drugs, the drinking or the sex lecture, he doesn't seem to need it anymore. Experience shows me, I've lain a strong foundation; it's up to him and god now, and fate, maybe fate too.
I missed the chance to have lunch with him, we were both too busy, so I walked to the fig tree in the garden. The sweet ones were too high for me to reach, but he hardly had to stretch to reach them for me.
They have grown sweet and he,tall.
Ok, he says as he hugs me and kisses the top of my head, I love you.
I love you too, I think, but I cannot speak just yet. I hold on to keep from falling. How did all of those years go by so quickly? My head is spinning, a vortex of pride, anticipation and grief.Yes grief. If only we could do it all over again, this time I would be better.
I hear his voice, before it changed. The way he called my name, Mom. I remember my own feelings of newness and excitement edged in a lining of fear of the unknown and unexpected future when I left home for the first time. He feels them now, but it isn't his first time leaving.
A few years ago, it was Boston, fifteen hours away.
I cried the entire drive home.
"I love you too." I said and turned quickly to my car.I didn't want him to see me cry.
I only cried for a few minutes and said to myself, I think you're getting better at this empty nest thing.
But now as I stand here typing these words on my keyboard with tears rolling down my cheeks and a lump in my throat that often accompanies a good cry, I know I am kidding myself.
Is there any emotion more painful than this love?