Letting Go.....Kind Of
"Mam. MAAM," my phone messaged me. My son loves to text me with that weird spelling that corresponds with the silly pronunciation he tends to use of 'Mom'.
'Wat. Wat ees eet?' I reply.
'Mam I have a job interview tomorrow and I have no idea what to bring or what to say or how to breathe' he responds.
Just a few days ago, I left my one and only child in the care of Ohio State University. On 'Move-in Day', we spent several hours between idling in long lines of cars and getting his actual physical belongings up to his dorm room. I managed to avoid crying all the way until we were done and I had gone back to my car alone.
I don't know why I even bothered with getting so emotional. Frankly, I've heard from him more in the few days since then than I normally do in month. He's texted me about what his roommates are like, what sort of events are happening on campus., what his schedule is like, what textbooks he needs. And I have loved every minute of it, whether I'm opening my wallet to pay for a textbook or just offering my own sarcastic commentary on whatever he's texting about.
Still, I am amazed. You know how people talk about stuff like body dysmorphic disorder? I think I have that, but in regards to age. I still feel like a young woman, I do. Yet the evidence smacks me in the face. Somehow, a very handsome, funny, intelligent young man is starting a college degree in computer engineering, and he's MY kid. My god, how did the time go by so fast? How is my tiny 'Bob the Builder'-obsessed toddler now way ahead of me in his knowledge of math and physics, taking crazy smart courses and yet still turning to me, his hopelessly dorky mom, over things like how to speak to another adult?
I told him, of course, that it would all be okay. It's his first job interview in life, and they fully expect that he will not have a lot of prior job experience. Be friendly, be confident, have a firm handshake. Dress reasonably well (it's for an on-campus cafeteria job, I doubt they'll expect a suit, good thing because he doesn't currently have one).
I just....nobody told me. They always say it goes too fast, sure. But nobody warned me how hard *this* would really be...that point where you truly *can't* step in and handle things for them....all you can do is remember what is what like to be their age and marvel that they will get through that same anxiety and uncertainty.
Of course, of all the advice I gave, I added in one thing....he's a resident OSU student now. He could totally come down to the Gateway Theater some second Saturday of the month and enjoy a free movie with his MAAAAM....