I’ve been thinking a lot this summer about my life 27 years ago. Newly graduated from college and searching for my first job. I was engaged with a wedding date set and searching anywhere within a driving radius of Raleigh. The call that I was hired came a mere days before school started. My first job was at West Lee Middle School in Sanford, NC, which was about 45 minutes from Raleigh and a little more than an hour from my home in Greensboro. I remember John meeting me in Sanford to look at apartments and we found our townhome that was our first place.
The funny thing is, I remember nothing about moving. I remember all of my other moves, even the ones in college, but I can’t remember anything about moving into that place. Perhaps my excitement about what today is called “adulting” just took over. I keep wondering if I realized at the time by moving into my own “adult” place that I was leaving my home with my parents forever. I would never again live with them. And, of course, I wonder how my parents felt.
This thought process has been brought on because my son Will is adulting now. This morning, with a car packed to the brim, he left for Nashville, TN, his new home. I’ve searched my memories this week because I wanted to know how he is feeling beyond the obvious excitement. That’s all I can get, excitement. He is excited and he should be. John and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Within a few weeks of beginning his search he found a job. He has a fabulous place to live, and he’s ready to tackle adulthood full steam ahead.
The only problem is, I’m not ready. For the past 23 years, Will has been with me. Will has called my home his home. This is where I’m thinking of my parents. I’m wondering how they were feeling when I moved 27 years ago. I don’t remember tears [mine flowed like a river as he drove away]. I just remember them being happy for me. The thing is, I’m happy for Will too. I’m over-the-moon with pride and joy. I guess that’s the thing about being a parent, the thing not in the how-to books; being a parent is an emotional roller coaster with every new normal that comes along. It’s ok — I’m up for the ride.