Long Distance sMothering
Nick leaves for college in three weeks. In the meantime, he’s been gone more than he’s been at home. I’m trying to act normal. I really am. I don’t know what normal is any more.
I know you don’t stop being a mother when your kid leaves home but I'm worried who I'll be in that void. I’m pretty sure Nick’s going to be okay. He’s going to make choices on his own, a few bad but mostly good. He’s going to live with his consequences. He’s probably going to go to class. He’s probably going to stay up all night some weekends. He might, like I did, throw up in the bushes on the way home from a party before he learns his limits. He’s going to hang out with a bunch of kids he already knows and some he doesn’t. He’ll make lifelong friends that I don’t know. He’ll come home for Thanksgiving, possibly sooner. At Christmas, we could slip into our old ways of being together, but I have to start changing even before then. I have to learn a new way to talk to him while he’s away.
I don’t want to nag over the phone. I don’t. I don’t want to nag over text messages either. I need to learn when to stop telling him what to do and learn how to chat with the new adult he’s become. I like who he’s become. When he comes back home, I need to keep from treating him like a child again. I’m going to have to remind myself. I keep trying to remember that I should be doing all that now. I do okay for a while, but then I forget. It’s usually when he leaves a big pile of dirty dishes on the end table or when one of his chores has gone unfinished.
I’m trying to rethink my role, reprogram my thoughts, and stop looking at him under the microscope.
I just want Nick to be happy and to find his purpose.
Hell, I want to be happy and to feel my purpose. If I do it right, those things are not mutually exclusive.
Thank you for listening, jules