I was just thinking back on the years of my son’s childhood. Of the countless times I curled up with my toddler, reading dinosaur encyclopedias again and again, when we would reach the last page and he would say “again, Mommy”. Of reading by flashlight under fabric tents we constructed across the living room. Of having dinner with my teenager at 11pm, 5 nights a week, so we could eat together when he returned from basketball practice or the gym. Of the history books I read as an adult to gain knowledge of a subject that I had avoided all of my life, so I could share in what he was learning. Of stepping off the edge to rappel down ropes, through tears and fear of heights, to share his sense of adventure. I was thinking back on all of the love, laughter, activities, and experiences that we shared together.
And thinking of his very full life now – packed with so much dedication, discipline, and accomplishments – as he rides this new solo chapter as a college student. We no longer share day-to-day experiences. We don’t share meals except for visits, or books, or activities. Our interests are totally different. But when he calls or texts to share an update, the connection is as intense as that felt from the sound of his 3 yr old giggle, or his 8 yr old drawings, or his 12 year old shared secrets.
I know he’s doing well, and I am more proud of him than words can express. And while he needs his independence far more than he needs his mom these days, it touches this mamma’s heart when he steps out of an important exam and chooses to send a “went well” text, or without prodding he shares updates on events in his life. Because as much as there is joy in this new chapter, there are times when those past chapters are deeply missed. And maybe, at that moment when he grabs his phone to send an update, he misses it too.