My Favorite Domer called the other night and pointed out that his younger friends were gradually migrating back to Notre Dame for Band Camp and another school term.
And despite his beginning to enjoy life in the Working World, he’s verklempt over not being on campus. After all, this is his first year on the other side of college, and he’s discovering just how much he’s going to miss it.
I know exactly what he’s feeling. I’ve been having some of the same emotions.
Recently, I was at dinner when I noticed several groups of college students and their parents taking a break from move-in day. They looked hot and tired, but it warmed my heart when the girls gave one another squeals and hugs, while the guys clasped hands and did that chest-bump thing.
I miss that!
I never thought I’d say it, but I miss loading up the car with Domer’s stuff, driving to campus, waiting in long queues for our turn to move in, then hauling the stuff upstairs to his room.
I miss battling the weather (thunderstorms one year; high temps the rest). Miss the camaraderie of seeing people we hadn’t seen all summer. Miss the energy of a college campus and the promise of a new slate. Miss the football season. And the Band.
But most of all, I miss having my son around.
Not that he was physically here while he was in college, but because then, he needed me.
And now that he’s working, he’s trying oh-so-hard to demonstrate his independence.
That’s a good thing. We raise them to be self-sufficient, self-confident, able to handle day-to-day living.
But as we’re preparing them, nobody is preparing us.
For an empty nest.
Obviously, I wasn’t around my own parents when their nest emptied, and I wasn’t paying attention to my friends when they lamented their sudden new stage in life.
So I have no role models here.
I’m just winging it. And doing what feels right to me.
Like staying busy. Active. Occupied. Filling the “lonely” hours with work or a good book (not necessarily the one I’m writing, either!)
Staying in touch with my son via phone calls, text messages, email.
Reminding myself that Domer is capable and this is the expected next step.
But in that quiet time, deep in the night, I still miss kissing that little boy of mine good night!