We sat in the tent, my son and me, as the light withered. The horses were in the trees for the night,
the little stove hissed, dinner was done, a candle or two were lit in preparation
of the darkness that was swelling.
Everything changes, but some things remain the same. He will always be my son. I will always be his mother, and be, give,
create everything I can for him. I will be
there for him if he needs me, though “there” may have greater physical distance
between us. And “needing” may not be as often.
We talked, just the two of us, as two adults, two individuals
with big hearts and big dreams, together in one quiet tent in the middle of the
Wilderness. I gave one last
lecture. No, there will be more. He knows.
He’s had them his whole life. He
knows I speak because I care. I worry, I
want to give him all I can.
I reminded him of the Cowboy Way. Rules to live by, each of us, as he heads out
to make his own choices without me near to intervene. Probably better now. He knows plenty. He is ready.
He may not always make the right choices, but he will probably know when
he is wrong, and hopefully do what he can to amend. He will be hurt from time to time, too. That is life, but as a mother, that is a hard
one to accept. We wish for a perfect,
protective bubble. Yet we know life
doesn’t work that way.
And I reminded him of what matters most to me, for I see
these things matter to him, too.
yourself, allow yourself, or make yourself be spontaneous. Plans are necessary, but sometimes you just
have to do.
positive in outlook. Life IS beautiful
and amazing, and so are you.
a purpose in life that is giving, not taking, and do what you can to make the world
a better place. Strive to leave
everything and everyone a little better for having had you there.
yourself. There is no one more special.
These are the words of wisdom I send my son off with as he
leaves tomorrow to begin the journey to college. The road trip begins. The adventure begins. A new world unfolds. He is leaving behind the world and home he
has known for more than half his life.
He shows no regrets, sadness, loss or remorse. Only a calm excitement, which is basically
how he handles life. He’s better at that than me.
I compare his reaction to the negative ones I hear too often
associated with change here. I am tired
of hearing what it means to the tourists who come here for but a week a year
when humbly my job has required me to listen.
My son, for whom this has been not just a fond memory but a solid and
real home with all the ups and downs that a full rich life are built on, has still
not whined. And I know he will not.
Tomorrow our life changes.
Just like that. I don’t know the
answers yet. Maybe some of them. Like Forrest going to college. That’s awesome. I’m proud of him as a proud parent could ever
be for working as hard as he has to allow himself the opportunities and open
doors he found and created. His choices. His life.
As for me, for us, a family, a couple now, moving, changing,
growing, starting something new… I’m ready.
Bring it on.