Launch Day!My brother-in-law is a rocket scientist. How cool is that? When they have a launch scheduled, his life is on-hold. His family knows that until that rocket launches, they are in a holding pattern.
Today I launch my son, Thomas, my lastborn child. My emotional life has been in a holding pattern this last month as I have prepared to take him to college. I am nervous, excited, expectant, and sad. But to be honest, the winning emotion here is GRATITUDE.
When our lives were turned upside-down a couple years ago, I set a goal with regards to Thomas. I wanted to heal to the point that he did not feel that he had to stay with me to take care of me. When he was accepted to Central in January, I was thrilled. He reached his goal, and I reached mine. God is good!
When I awoke this morning, I knew this day would be very different than most, so I started out the way I always do--by
making myself a cup of coffee. When I reached in the fridge to grab the creamer, there was a little box from the Cheesecake Factory containing a slice of cherry cheesecake, my favorite. A post-it note on the top said, "MOM."
The first of many tears began to flow at that point. Soon I will wake Tommy up, make him some bacon and eggs. We'll pack his car, then mine, and off we'll go...over the mountain to Ellensburg. I'll make his dorm-bed, get him situated, and off I'll go. At that moment, my role will change. I have been nurturer/grower for 25 years, starting with Molly. Today I will begin the slow-shift to full-time cheerleader. I do not know what this looks like, exactly, but I will cherish the role just as I have cherished parenting all these years.
I am ready. I am ready because Tommy is ready. Yes, I will likely have to pull over as soon as the college is out of sight. I'll need to cry a good one before hitting the freeway for home. And then the reality of this day will begin to sink in, and I'll cry some more. But truly, this is the best kind of pain, isn't it? Growing children to the point that they can leave you is a beautiful privilege.
I will miss this child! I will miss feeding him, watching Pawn Stars with him, and hearing his "'Night Mom, I love you," voice when he comes in at midnight. I have boxes stashed in which I will send him sour gummy worms, beef jerky, laundry quarters and gas money. I will look forward to his first-day-of-school text. And I will pray for him. God is good! Tommy: YOU GOT THIS!