Last week a repairman came to my house. He went into my son’s room to measure windows. I explained to him that my son had come home to Belmont Shore for a month and moved his whole apartment into his small room.
He smiled and said, “how old is your baby?” I answered, “He’s 23.” He said, “My baby is 24.” We smiled at each other, in a way as parents that understand the bittersweet feeling of pride and sadness that our children are all grown up, but they will forever be “ours.”
It’s so weird. God puts a baby in your arms and it becomes your whole world. You are responsible for making sure it is fed and healthy, loved, protected, and nurtured. Your baby becomes part of your every awareness.
In May of 1988 I went into labor with my first baby, my son. I sent my husband off to work because things were progressing slowly. He returned later to take me to the hospital and I greeted him at the door in…..a bikini! “Honey,” he said, “what in the hell are you doing??”
Well, I wanted a picture of how I looked on that last day. He patiently snapped a few in the backyard.
When our son was born, my husband looked down and said “1-2-3, they’re all there. “ He had no interest in counting the fingers or toes. Ryan had the bluest eyes I had ever seen on any human being. I have brown eyes. That baby looked like it had nothing to do with me, like he was cloned directly from his father.
Then came the teenage years of long hair and I-think-I’m-so-cool-I’ll-dye-my-hair-jet-black.
Then, one day, your baby turns 18 and leaves to go to college. Suddenly, you have to stop all of that constant care giving. You can’t call everyday to ask how they are or you will annoy them. It is honestly so hard to stop the succession of “I hope they’re OK” thoughts from swirling in your head.
Going through empty nest syndrome was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But I did it.
Last week, my little boy moved to New York City. He is so excited. I am so happy for him. I am used to him being gone now, but it will be another level of adjustment to know that if anything happens to him, I will be 3,000 miles away. I will get used to it.
I’m going to miss my Ryan.
Goodbye son. I am so very proud of you. Love, Mom
And I know he’ll be back ……to eat his Steamed Halibut at La Strada! xoxoxo Lisa