Friday, March 07, 2008

growing pains

He departed this afternoon for Long Island, this #1 Son of mine.

After Friday School, we came home so he could pack. We decided that it would be easier if he drove himself (in his "new" vehicle) to the Sinclair's. He could then leave his car there for the weekend and drive himself home when they return on Tuesday.

I watched him from the living room window as he stowed his suitcase, backpack, and violin in the back seat. Then this son of mine hopped confidently into the driver's seat and backed out of the drive. He waved because he knew I was watching, and off he went.

Over his action-packed weekend, he will do his thing; the thing that involves acoustics and wires and microphones and sound-checks and "lows" and "mids" and so many more things which his mom is clueless about. He may go into the city to meet influential people. He will bond with his cool friends and with a family that I, personally, never tire of. And all this will happen many miles away from me, his mom, who has always made sure he eats his greens, and substitutes whole-wheat for white whenever possible.


This is all too new to me--the grown-up-ness of it all. It strikes me just as they said it would: with surprising swiftness. This week brought its share of big-boy milestones, including taking the SAT's and getting his driver's license. There seems to be little mercy in this swift march of time, and no breathers betwixt my oldest and his coming of age. (Did I mention that he drove away at the wheel of his own car? I did, didn't I?)

This is entirely too much at once for this hands-on mom.

These days, I dose myself regularly (okay, hourly...) with the sage advice from Friend #7. She said,
"Don't micro-manage so much. Let more things go. You must learn that your kids are growing up." (She must have read that somewhere because what does she know, anyway?)

After dropping the darlings off at Friday School this morning, I parked the car but kept the radio on. I waited for the scheduled broadcast of #1 Son's interview for his upcoming performance with the local orchestra. I expected his oh-so-grown-up voice to come over the airwaves, telling about his love for music and why he was drawn to the violin so many years ago. Shimmering runs and double-stops would provide the backdrop for Mr. Radio-Host's questions about "life's goals" and such.

I knew that.

But what I didn't know was the effect it would have on me.

Because standing back and letting go are unfamiliar territories; uncharted and scary regions on ancient maps that are marked "beyond here be dragons".
They are a strange dish-- the kind of thing that I thought I would taste one day on my own terms. When I was ready. When I was hungry for it.
Standing back and letting go are new clothes that don't feel right. They pinch in weird places and make me want to settle for last year's Easter outfit. They are entirely wrong for me and are not at all flattering.

They cost too much, too.

He departed this morning for Long Island. And of course, after all that, he will come home.
But soon, much sooner than I would wish, he will depart for other places with other people in other cars and with bigger suitcases. I won't always be standing at the window.
And before I know it, standing back and letting go will feel more at home on my shoulders. I will dip my toe into them more often and the water won't make me draw back as much. I will taste them oftener, and with a little bread and butter, they will go down just fine.

And even though these thoughts may sound sad, they are really faith-filled.
I'm just thinkin' 'bout them, is all.


Blogger sam said...

I can relate to this post in so many ways...

8:19 PM  
Blogger KathyLikesPink said...

You have spoken so eloquently.

My daughter will be 13 next week. She is the joy and light of my life. When she was still tiny I dreaded the eventual day that she would move away from me and out into the world.

What gifts children are!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous brietta said...

This hands-on mom just got another glimpse into my future and you made me glad that I'm still not there yet. Thanks for the-- perhaps inadvertent but nonetheless poignant-- reminder to treasure days that are altogether fleeting.

And, yes, to one day let go with grace and faith!

(I can't believe he passed his drivers test after all that commotion beforehand! I would have been way too ruffled I think. Good job, Bubs. :)

7:41 AM  
Blogger Darlene Sinclair said...

"They are a strange dish-- the kind of thing that I thought I would taste one day on my own terms. When I was ready. When I was hungry for it."

It is still a strange dish to me. As of yet, I have not developed a hunger for it; I do not yet relish whatever it is that comprises this dish. But I can see the necessity and even the good things in it all. Kind of like eating the greens, and taking whole wheat instead... you know there is goodness. And someday, maybe, somehow, I will have gained an appetetite for such things. Maybe.

7:52 AM  
Blogger TrashTidBits said...

I don't have children, but I can empathize with your feelings. I guess you could call it "parental stretching pains" that come with being a parent. As with any stretching, you'll grow deeper with the Lord through it all.

5:53 PM  

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