Son #1 has returned to college today.
As I commented to my friends, one would think that I would be quite used to this departure by now. He’s on semester number eight, the grand finale to the four-year journey that marks his bachelor’s degree. His graduation date is set for May 22nd (although I don’t think they have decided if it will be virtual or in-person).
He’s been home since mid-December, at least a week more before Christmas and a week longer in January than the non-COVID years. He filled his time well, working for a general contractor friend of ours, helping with family projects, playing board games with his sister and girlfriend, and creating new wood pieces with his father. With all the restrictions, he’s been even more present than he would have been. When he leaves, there is a definite absence in our daily lives.
Like I said, I should be used to his leaving the household day-to-day interaction. My sister wisely pointed out that she believes our own mother still feels this way, every time we two East Coast sisters leave Illinois to return to the lives we’ve led for over twenty five years in the states of Vermont and Massachusetts.
Instead of focusing on the hole I always feel, I am going to try this around for this odd year. I’ll recognize the pandemic’s gifts of extra family suppers, extra chatting about our days, extra time with our oldest.
OK, I’ll admit it: I’m still a bit sad. But at least I see the silver lining of it all.
(And that has to count for something for this sappy mom, right?)