For much of this past Fall, conversations in my home were about college applications. Essays were written and revised, schools were investigated and visited, and plans for college life were made. I bought JT the bedding he’ll need for college; we discussed majors and careers. All of it had an air of unreality to me. I worked, I talked through plans with T, we went to cross country races all over the state, and I did the laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that 2018 would bring big changes to my world. But knowing it in my mind and believing it in my heart were two very different things.
Cross country season ended and wrestling season began. Holiday plans were made. There was more and more laundry but, seemingly less and less boy as he spent big chunks of time at his girlfriend’s house. A college acceptance arrived; we celebrated. But still, there was an air of unreality, as if my life would remain a slowly moving cycle of daily motherhood. And laundry, always the laundry.
For Christmas, a dear friend gave me two beautifully embroidered handkerchiefs. “There will be tears in June,” she said, “you can cry elegantly.” I loved them and carried them home, neatly folded them into tidy squares and tucked them into my dresser drawer, as if they belonged to a distant future.
After the holiday, I got out my calendar and began to mark coming events: wrestling matches, JT’s 18th birthday, Spring Break, the Prom, the closing of school, graduation. And in those minutes, 18 years of being JT’s mama flashed before my eyes. Where there had once been years of daily parenting to envision, now there were months; soon it will simply be days. I realized that I was now in a landscape of lasts…..the last set of high school midterms, a final wrestling match, the last batch of birthday cupcakes……..a dwindling list of things and events that were once the backbone of my days.
I’ve no earthly idea how the time passed so quickly. But here I am on the brink of a new kind of existence. There is much about it that is exciting. I feel blessed to have a happy and excited son, a once-reluctant-to-try-new-things little boy who is now a young man willing to embrace the uncertainty of his future. So I am determined to embrace and enjoy it all, without regrets and with hope and anticipation for this next chapter of our lives.
But I still wonder where the time went. And there is no doubt I will need those handkerchiefs.