That's the first thing I know. Carter flew off to Indiana on Sunday to attend Purdue. And he's missing Shark Week for the first time since he was 7 years old. The other thing I know is that I need to keep as busy as possible so I don't take to my bed and weep over missing him. Then I think it's important not to be over dramatic. It's just college. But my left arm might as well be in Indiana. I'm just sayin'.
We went up to our favorite place in Maine for a few days before the big departure and had a great time. We rented a kayak (brave for us) and all took turns using it. Carter had been many times before so he was our instructor. The brothers now all getting so old. Two in college, the "baby" alone with us for seven more years. Unthinkable when Ronan was born that this day would actually come.
The simple things, right? Having a meal together when every one is together not really thinking that you won't share many more until Thanksgiving.
The light of the Maine Coast before sunset is so pretty that alone will give you a lump in your throat.
And then you see them all together listening to some groovy tunes at our favorite ice cream spot and ...ouchies again. It really is like you have the flu, stomach feels all achy and tingly. Heart a bit heavy.
Thomas the Train Engine, stegosaurus and brontosaurus and the dinosaur collection, 5 a.m. day after Thanksgiving Toys-R-Us runs to scoop up Pokemon cards, endless soccer games, proud band tuba player. Trying not to let these waves of memories drown me.
I'm glad I was there. The volunteer. The brownie-baker. The cheerleader. The birthday party planner. Perfection? Nope. But I got up every morning and tried my best. And in return so did he.
We had a great walk on the beach that morning, my boy in the purple sunglasses and me. I love them all, of course, I do, but he says "yes" and "sure" and "ok, mom" more than they do. He doesn't get worked up about stuff. He was born on the sunny side I always said. When I asked him to take a walk with me on this beautiful morning he jumped right up.
He won't see the shore again until he comes home. But everytime I go I will think of him. And every time I see the empty bed and every time Ocean's Eleven is on and every time I need someone to shoot hoops with Ronan, I will think of him. Truly I do not want to be sad for long. It is a good thing. Honors Program! Purdue! But it hurts just much as any newspaper or magazine article I have ever read about the passage from high school to college and being the one left behind to sort through the past. The right thing to do is let them have fun and come home and tell you of their great adventure. Understand what they need from you and what they don't. Dry those mommy tears and keep calm and carry on.
And hopefully by the end of this week I will have inched closer to the goal.