Everyone that knows me guessed I’d cry on Wednesday as I stood in the driveway waving furiously while the kiddo smiled and pulled away. Driving himself to school for his first day of junior year. Alone. Without me. Without our legendary morning commutes filled with jam sessions and debates and history lectures and mom lectures and planning and strategizing whatever needed to be worked over at the time. Gone was the old routine and with it went the traditions we’d spent years honing. And while I teared up a bit, I’ll have you know I didn’t cry. Instead I waited patiently for him to text me that he was at school safely then I went to breakfast and spent an hour laughing with my bestie.
And I didn’t cry yesterday as we repeatedly the process. Safely to school. Safely back home. Everything flowing according to plan.
And I didn’t cry this morning, either. The kiddo and I had a terrific summer that included the start of new routines for he and I so yes, our mornings are forever changed, but we’ve got new things to share and look forward to. When my bestie called today to check on me, I think she was proud that I was holding it together.
It wasn’t until this afternoon that the tears attacked and I didn’t even see it coming. When the kiddo got home today, we talked and tackled chores and I made brownies while he started his homework. All in all it was a normal afternoon right up until the kiddo asked if he could go out tonight.
“Sure!” I said without missing a beat. “Where are you going and what time do you need to be there?”
“The crew is getting together from seven until eleven,” he offered then he stopped and gave me an odd smile.
“That’s fine, babe. Does anyone need a ride there or do we need to take anyone home?” I went on, utterly clueless.
“Hey, mom? I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I was planning to drive myself. Is that okay?”
Right. He’s driving himself. Which means the downsizing is real and it’s not just back and forth to school he goes. Of course it isn’t. It’s everywhere he goes now. And while it’s exactly as it should be, the adjustment is real.