Our living room is covered with clothing, camping equipment and the necessities of dorm life – a coffee cup, desk lamp, sheets and a few precious mementos. Books are waiting to be packed. There is chaos elsewhere.
My son is getting ready for the big move. This is the one that often leads to visiting home rather than coming home. This is where the word itself, “home”, starts to be confusing. Is it “where I grew up”, or “where I spend the most time” or “where I feel most comfortable”? Is home the family I was given with my birth or the family that I create?
His room looks like he is leaving for a movie with friends. The garage holds three bikes laying mostly in parts, waiting for him to pick up his wrenches. There are granola bars still in the cupboard – the high calorie kind you need when you work on a farm and run rivers in tiny kayaks.
While he anticipates with excitement the trip and its destination, college; I stand between two incredibly powerful sets of feelings – pride, excitement, and delight and the sadness that comes with knowledge that our home is changing yet again.
I can’t wait to get on the road and see the country with him. I can’t wait to see the school and meet the people who will surround him while he is there. When I stand next to him, I can feel the anticipation that he feels and it is contagious!
I am a little afraid of coming home. There too, is a bifurcation of feeling. I will miss him sorely. The house will be a lot quieter when he is gone. He is good company. At the same time, I have a strong feeling of anticipation of what this change will mean for me – my house as studio, and life as an independent woman. I will be on my own, much like my son, for the first time in many decades.
Sad? Yes. Exciting? Also yes. All there is to do now is to pack up the car and take the ride.