The Huffington Post newsletter this morning brought me this: 27 Things That Made Me Cry When I Took My Kid to College and I know how Peyton feels.
The email subject line said “pass the tissues”. But no, tissues are not enough for the deluge of tears – not because of the list I read but because of the million other things that are making me cry every moment of the day after I took my kid to college. I am back home of course, but the tears? They have a mind of their own and flow – sometimes at the slightest provocation, sometimes for no reason at all, than that I have a mushy mommy heart.
I feel compelled to share 27 more things that make me cry.
- His sleepy voice when I call him at 6 am in the morning, responding to my babytalk. Don’t judge me on the babytalk! It is just a ritual we have and enjoy.
- The thought of him bathing in cold water at 6.15 am and rushing off to breakfast that’s not his favorite cereal, but adjusting to whatever there is like a champ.
- His text at 7.45 to say he’s in class.
- Crying into my breakfast with my gaze fixed on the empty seat that is his. We always breakfasted together.
- Trying to decide what to make for lunch and realizing I won’t cook anything he loved. Stupid, but hey, sue me!
- Worrying if he will get to the Mess in time for lunch.
- His Dad refusing dessert and suggesting we think of it only when he visits. I am diabetic, but he doesn’t have to pretend to be!
- The sight of his face on Skype – and him informing me he had a haircut and shave – and looking, oh so adorable and young and the frustration that I can’t hug him.
- The vacuum in my arms.
- Hanging up the multiple clip hanger on the clothesline only to realize that there’s nothing to hang there – and missing the 15 pairs of underwear that went into the laundry every week.
- The thought that he has to do his own laundry now, hang it out to dry and bring it back in, fold it and put it away. Of course he ran the washing machine at home, but this is not the same.
- His gentle “thank you mi” for every little thing. I mean, every. little. thing.
- His happiness and joy at the sight of homemade pizza.
- Pizza ads. He loves pizza.
- His little prayer books wrapped in tissue under his pillow, which had the impression of his head when I returned home. Yes, I kissed it.
- This. When I cleaned my closet.
- His cough, when he spoke to me today. And pride when he said he visited the health center on his own.
- His Dad’s choke voice, filled with pride that his son got into a prestigious institute and is adjusting to the new life.
- The sight of his house slippers in their spot near the entrance and thinking he’ll be back at 4 pm, only he won’t.
- The space in the house. Oh, the space and the quiet! Just hate that everything stays exactly as I left it.
- The empty chair at the desktop computer with his favorite cushion on it. The half-filled water bottle on the floor – that I had to empty. Only, he wasn’t’ around for me to scold him.
- A neighbor bringing something for Vidur because he loves it, and realizing he’s away!
- His neat book shelves. Categorized by topic and interest. His school shelves, a mess.
- The pencil shavings in a cup on his desk. And the memory of his hand holding the pencil, sketching.
- The two huge bags of books he’s left to give away.
- The long empty evenings and his chatter, conspicuous by its absence.
- Imagining his singing all the time. All. The. Time.
That’s not all, though.
- His smile, everytime I looked at him.
- Coming across his drawings and sketches in the most unexpected of places.
3. Stumbling on a sheet of paper in a plastic sleeve that turns out to be a letter to his Grandma. In heaven
4. The thought that he wont be home for my birthday this month. Or his, in November.
5. Finding his notebook in his backpack on the dining table chair where he left it, and about to place it on his shelf when I am prompted to just peek at his handwriting – and feeling overwhelmed at finding this: “How I would like to see myself after 10 years” running to three pages.
I know I said 27. But there’s a 1000 more where that came from, and counting.
The sun will shine brighter when he’s home. And I am a very lucky Mom.