In the days since you’ve left me, I’ve begun each by staring at myself in the mirror and wondering if I wasn’t your mom, who was I? When would it no longer ache not to see you sitting on the couch or asleep in your room with the light on?
In title, I am still your mom. I always will be. In reality, we no longer do life together. You’ve left the nest.
I had a sense this transition would be difficult. I knew I fell apart each time you went away on college visits, the days feeling like rained on clothes stuck to the skin, bogging me down until you returned.
I never dreamed I’d become this lost little puppy sitting by the door waiting for the one she loves to return to her.
No one ever told me how much I’d miss the sight of you eating your five bowls of cereal overflowing onto the counter every afternoon after school, or the sound of that loud rap music I hate blaring from your room late into the night.
No one told me how much I would miss the piles of dirty clothes scattered about your room, or finding one dirty sock in every room of the house. But I do.
No one told me how much I would miss driving the lunch you forgot to school, or hearing about the antics of your day over dinner. But goodness, I do.
No one told me I would miss the sound of ESPN droning on the television 24-hours a day, but I actually do.
No one told me I’d see your face and beam with pride at the man you’ve become, or lay awake at night hoping you’d eaten and slept enough that day, but I do.
No one told me I’d ache to go back to the days when you were little and rushed home to show me your papers after school, but I do.
No one told me I’d feel both joy and sadness in knowing that I’ve done my job, and done it well, because you are an extraordinary human. But goodness, I do.