Perpetually Behind, But Thinking Ahead

I’m really thinking, with it being November 18th and all, that I should change the perpetual calendar that hangs in my kitchen so it reflects the current month. I’d hate for December to arrive without my getting to enjoy a few days of a November calendar.

That’s how life in this house is, though, lately.

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future…

(Steve Miller‘s words, not mine.)

This year is flying by. I knew it would; having a high school senior in the house and having the added life elements of his college applications, scholarship applications, work schedule, girlfriend, school work, yada yada yada…it’s enough to make a Mom (or Dad) go mad.

That’s the crux of the last few days, as a matter of fact. I’ve been quite moody. I’ve been a little snappish to my family. I’ve felt overwhelmed with life in general. I couldn’t place why, and then suddenly I had my first uncontrollable crying jag on Monday night and realized: my kid is leaving home…next fall.

I know, I know, it’s sort of like a “When Harry Met Sally” thing (“I’m gonna be forty…someday!”), but not completely.

I never thought I’d be the crying mom. I am, admittedly, not one of the moms whose entire existence revolves around her kids. Though I am fiercely connected to my kids, I also have things going on that aren’t related to them directly. I mean, I knew I wasn’t going to be all, “SEE YA!” or anything like that, but I NEVER thought I’d cry in November of the year before he is due to leave. Big, ugly tears. And once I started, it was a good while before I could stop.

The logical part of my brain tells me the following things:

1. If he ends up at his first choice school, he’s only 90 minutes away.
2. I will always be his mother.
3. I’m totally normal.
4. This is a natural part of the mini-grieving process that Jim & I have to go through: next fall will mark the end of one era of parenting him, and the start of another.
5. This is a great step for him, as well as for us.
6. We’ve raised a GREAT kid. He’ll call now and then.

The emotional part of my brain tells me the following things:

1. I miss him already.



  • Mom24

    You know I get this. Sorry. It is hard, but it also gets to okay surprisingly quickly. It just becomes a new normal.


    PS–Just wait till this summer. Lots of kids really push their parents away the summer before they go to school, it helps them disconnect and sometimes the parents get to the point where they're actually ready for them to go. 😉

  • Mr. Man

    That's must difficult to be at that point in your life. I can't truly relate yet, but there is a little grieving that goes with each stage of our children's lives.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it will be hard but you know you have done a great job and he will be able to handle himself when he gets into the real world.

    Just think it is another step in life and he can do it, you have prepared him well.

    Smile and you be happy.

    Grandma W

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    Awww…you are totally in your right to have crying jags whenever you darn well feel like it! Heck, I almost cried the other day cuz my oldest is going to be FIVE. And he says things to me now like, "Mom, I love you more than Daddy does cuz I've loved you my WHOLE LIFE!" I mean, how does that not just punch you in the gut? And leaving home? Oy vey…

    So…choice school…90 minutes away…in Milwaukee?!? 🙂

  • DaddysFishBowl

    Great story! I think it's perfectly normal what you're going through. Although I have some time to get there, and I say that I can't wait for them to leave (joking) deep down, I'll be really sad when it gets close to that time. You'll be fine, and I think he'll call more often than you think.

  • tricia baehr

    Girl…you are a multi-dimensional woman and being a mama is just one facet of your fabulousness. Your boy is going on to be a man and you will share in all of his joys and triumphs and failures of life and as our children transition out of our daily lives (mine are not even close) we will discover facets of ourselves that we never even knew existed…embrace the possibilities!!!

  • Huckdoll

    Aww, hun. I want to give you big fat hug right now.

    You're totally normal … and those crying releases are going to keep you calm and balanced, don't feel silly or like you're "that" mother at all. I'm already starting to feel that way as we look at school districts for the girls to begin their school life in next September.

  • Liz@thisfullhouse

    Heh, you won't buh-leeve how much stuff we missed, simply because someone forgot to flip the calendar.

    [blank stare]

    Okay, maybe you would and SHUDDUP!

  • Tara R.

    My college kid has been out of the house almost 3 years now. You will get to the point where you start planning what to do with his room – I'm turning hers into an office-slash-workroom. I miss her terribly, but she has grown into such a fine, independent young woman. And, isn't that what we all hope for, for our children to be ready to take on the world and conquer it?

    I'm sure your son will be incredible, and you will be so proud, you'll not dwell so much about how much you miss him.

  • House of Jules

    I know, it's so weird to think he'll be off at school, somewhere else. Can't imagine what it's like being a mom, but I know the tears can come easy as an aunt. I really do understand now why Dad used to tell me, "Make sure you call your mother!". Hugs, sista.

  • surprised mom

    I just went through this so I know your pain. You do grieve because you miss them, because you know one part of parenting is over and adjusting will be necessary and because letting go is so darn hard and scary. If you ever need to talk, I'm only an email away.
    I just talked to The Oldest tonight, nine hours away at college. I talked to her on the ride home from downtown. (Don't worry The Mister was driving). When I hung up my husband said, "I can tell by your voice that you miss her with every fiber of your being." I do.

  • Anonymous

    From Dawn:

    HUGS!!! I wish I could have hugged you when you called last night.

    At least you will not have a Failure to Launch…and that is a VERY good thing! 🙂

  • WeaselMomma

    Maybe a great big ugly cry was just what you needed. Now that you got it out you can focus at the jobs ahead of you, like researching and scouting out places to hide on campus to stalk your son and any of the shameless hussies that will follow him around and try to corrupt him.

  • Sue

    Next time you go on a crying jag, call me!!! I have 2 nice shoulders. I can only imagine what it is like with a senior in the house. We'll (or at least I) will help you through it!

  • Momo Fali

    I can't talk about kids moving on because it makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb.

    Also, the blackboard wall in my breakfast nook…which I created so I would have a huge wall calender…still said, "Welcome, Meat Maidens up until recently."