26 Days

This morning I was telling my husband that I’m feeling sad about #1 Son’s impending departure for college, and he asked me how much time is left? 26 days, I answered. And how many hours, he asked?

It’s funny how you can be happy for your child and yet so sad for yourself. My dreams are filled with life-threatening events–for me, that is–and I realize that a long section of my life will be over beginning that day. I’ve been fortunate to have a deep and loving relationship with my child. When he was a very little boy, my dad once said, “He must be good company,” and it was so true. He always has been.

The whole family will be making an adjustment, from five people to four, each of the younger children moving up a spot in the chain, enough computers to go around (that’s a shocking thing). We’ve spent so much energy focusing on him for so many years; he’s always the center of the conversation when he’s around. His wit and intelligence and, oh, just his (his real name)-ness, have influenced all that we do. My mother-in-law commented when he was 3 or 4, “He’s such an (his real name).” And somehow I knew just what she meant.

It’s kind of like drawing the Death card in the Tarot deck. Only through an ending can there be a new beginning.