I left him at the dorm
Hedrick hall crowded as
Central station at rush hour
A hug and words too many
To put into a single satchel
“Brush your teeth
Eat your fruits and vegetables
Do your homework
Stay away from drugs and alcohol.”
Like post-it-notes—will they fly away
In the new winds of change?
Even now, they seem
Like frail streamers flailing …
In the storms of unknowns
They streak across the stark sky
Falling, flailing, floundering.
This leaving a part of you
At the dorm…the part of you
That you grew for the last eighteen years.
As he releases his arms around you
To face a new beginning
And you knew the grasp will
Slacken like the
Wilting of stems
As time climbs the mountain
Of never-ending peaks.
The unflinching sun looks on
Bright and callous….
It’s just another day.
While your heart smudges
Bleeding red at the fray.
The heart cracks open
Within, the ebbing
Of tides rushing to break free
The shifting sands of change
Stirs and moans
As shadows weave in and out
of waters swishing with muted groans.
The throbbing of tears swells
To unleash in quiet moments of gray
Reflection, but for now a brave front
As he walks away.
Was it not for this moment you prepare him for?
The day finally came—the moment my son, Aaron, was preparing for—to launch into the adult world. He is looking forward with anticipation—finally college move-in day. As he watched his friends go off one by one to colleges near and far, he told me, “It’s about time.” I know-- it’s about time he goes off to UCLA. one of the colleges to start late in the school year. It's a big move, a happy move..a big step into the real world yet, something about letting go has made this a bitter sweet event.
It’s time to let go but this moment of realization brings with it much reflection. I have to get used to him not being there for dinner. I’ve to get used to the empty spot on his computer desk where he plays his music, chats on facebook and presumably does his homework. I have to get used to him not coming in through the garage door after school each day and asking, “What did you do today, mom?” I’ve to get used to not seeing his dimpled smile in the morning or getting high fives whenever he’s happy.
I’ve to wait for him to get home on holidays to replay a semblance of life before college.
That’s just too much for a mom, you think? You’ve grown your child and now he takes off…leaving a space… but that’s just me, I’m a nostalgic sentimental fool.
This poem was reflective of the day we said goodbye to him at the dorm. After settling him at the dorm and dawdling for as long as we could, it was time to say goodbye.
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Quotes to ponder:
Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go. – The Wonder Years
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. – Havelock Ellis
Don't let go too soon and don't hang on too long-- Morrie Schwartz in the book, Tuesday with Morrie (one of my favorite books).
Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye? ~Author Unknown