Sunday, August 16, 2009

This Leaving Thing

I thought by now I'd be used to this; this leaving thing.

I'd walk them to the front door of the kindergarten class, hug them and tell them everything is going to be okay, wave at them one last time through the window in the door and then walk away. And cry.

On that first day of first grade I'd walk them to the bus stop , squeeze them tight as the bus rolled up, and then watch as it rolled away. And I'd cry all the way back to the house.

When it came time for high school the reassurances were less needed (or at least publicly so) but the drill hadn't seemed to change, even though I thought it should have. The minute the car door closed and I was out of their sight I would cry.

It's not that I didn't know that my part in the story was to raise my children to let them go, it was those spaces between the big chapters; those Sunday nights driving home alone after dropping them back at their mother's house. I thought I had already done my crying. I thought I would have become familiar with this pain. But I was wrong.

Friday night my boy and I hugged in the yard in front of my house, he got in his truck and drove away with a wave and a honk on his way to school on the other side of the state. I went inside and cried.

It's a pain I don't suppose I'll ever get used to.


Steph said...

Ahhh...John. I haven't had to face that yet, and now that Boo decided not to go to Australia, I have a bit of a reprieve for awhile. I don't know how to make you feel better. I do know this, however. Because of the kind of dad you are - knowing that you were to raise them to let them go, and facing all of the other milestones with a stiff upper lip (at least in front of them) - is what's made him the independent boy he is today. He felt it too, believe me. Even if the only way a boy his age can express it is with a little honk on his way out.
You're an amazing father. I guarantee that is something he will come to realize during his time away.

Cheryl said...

Yeah, I hear you. I cry just THINKING about my son going to college one day--or whatever. And he's only 10. But I do so look forward to knowing the man he grows up to be. I'm praying your boy does his dad proud.