Tuesday, March 11, 2014

College Chronicles: Part IV

Readers may (correctly) remember that College Chronicles Part I recently appeared and that Parts II and III do not yet exist.

All true!

But today the Matron is jumping ahead.    It turns out that this is a non-linear narrative.  Buckle up!

A few weeks ago, yours truly was doing one of her fool-hardy brave winter runs, because when she's not complaining about the weather, she is frequently IN It.   In this case, running.  Not sure what that looks like in a Minnesota winter?    This actual list remains true although she has added plastic bags over her socks to the list.   Yes, it is all right to note this as one more type of crazy.

So she's bundled into her winter wardrobe and plugging away, music blasting through the ear-buds, but her mind - elsewhere.   During this particular jaunt, all she could think about was HWCBN and his college problems:  deadlines, applications, FAFSA, procrastination, letters of recommendation to organize.   There was just so much stuff to do!  Why, the Matron could barely wrap her brain around it or keep up with the paperwork or prod that procrastinating teenager along a wee bit faster . . . the whole darn thing was exhausting.

Such were the thoughts on the Matronly mind when this song, You Are Your Mother's Child, came trickling in through the ear-buds.   If you skipped that link, don't.   If you are a mother of a senior in high school (and maybe even mother of any age child) it is illegal to listen to that song without weeping.   Criminally illegal and probably not possible.

So the Matron had heard that song before but never really listened. . . this time she did.     And as that tremulous voice  whispered in her ear:  "you are your mother's child.   And she'll keep you for a while.  But someday you'll be grown.  And then you'll be on your own."  

She'll keep you for a while but then you'll be on your own.

Friends, until that moment, yours truly had not fully actualized, realized, appreciated that all the drama, hoopla and heart ache over the college application process meant that her BABY WAS LEAVING HER.   As in, HWCBN, that physical, intimate presence -- 17 years a constant in her life -- was packing his bags and exiting her stage.

This realization didn't just dawn on the Matron like "oh wow stryker is leaving" but instead nailed her to the ground and pounded her into the pavement.  Every word of that song sent new physical pain of loss pouring through her.  She burst into heaving, wet, gooping sobs that so destroyed her she could barely run.

Remember -- it is one million degrees below zero and she is outside, now wet with tears.   Stopping to catch one's breath or otherwise recover is not really an option.  So the Matron heaved and wept and howled herself home.   She did such a bad job of pulling herself together that an elderly woman driving by stopped to see if she needed help (true).

Her baby is leaving her.  Sniffle, sob, weep.   Exiting her stage to build his own.  And she will miss him.

March madness here means college decision month.  The letters or emails (yes and the no) should start in a few days. She's holding her breath and biting fingernails.  Yes-- happy for all the bright newness- life!- on his horizon.   But also just a little bit stunned by the impending departure.  


Suburban Correspondent said...

It didn't really hit me until the day AFTER my eldest left, when I came home from work in the evening and he wasn't sitting in the living room, working on his schoolwork, the way he always had been when I came home. And then, yeah, like a ton of bricks.

Cassi Renee said...

So my minor feelings of abandonment are very minor. I'll hang on to that, along with my 13 year-old. But I want to know what you told that kindly woman who stopped to see if you were okay? :-)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I can tell you that for me the key has to been to focus on all the excitement on the horizon. I'm 4/4 with no crying at college drop-off. Every new stage of their lives is also a new stage of ours and so far it's been all good.

Can't wait to her what lucky school gets him!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I had to put son#1 on an airplane to go to college on the other side of the country. It was painful.
I was ready for #2 to go because we are so much alike that the head-butting sessions needed to Stop.Now. (But he's only 90 minutes away and is home for spring break right now.)
Boy#4 is my 14yo baby and I'll stay in dential for another four years (besides, he's still busy raising himself).
But this year's senior in high school is son#3 and it's going to be so incredibly hard when he goes. The family around the table will shrink to three. The last time there were only 3 of us, the now-married 23yo was an infant. Pardon me while I go hyperventilate.

Minnesota Matron said...

Thanks, all. It's so helpful to hear these other experiences -- yes, focusing on the positive and understanding that this is actually all as it should be! Leaving is what they're supposed to do.