I hope I’m not breaking any Homework for Life rules or anything, but today’s entry shares something that happened last year. That being said, the memory was spurred by a conversation that occurred today. So it counts, right?
This morning, one of my Facebook friends posted that her son had just returned to college after his holiday break and she was surprised at how hard it was for her. That she thought “by this time” she should be able to handle it better. As sitting president of the Parents with Chronic Empty Nest Syndrome Club (okay, maybe there isn’t such a thing, but there should be), I reached out to her to offer words of comfort and cyber hugs.
I’m always amazed at how far the umbilical cord will stretch.
About eight months ago, I accompanied my husband to one of his workshops in Florida. We arrived at the airport after midnight. As we waited in line for our rental car, I noticed a woman with two young children, one about six, the other possibly eight. The kids buzzed about the room, squealing, chattering among themselves, zig-zagging in between her and the luggage, and playing hopscotch on the tiles. From the snippets of conversation I caught, I could tell they were headed to the Magic Kingdom. I smiled, remembering the Disney trip we had taken with our own boys when they were about the same ages.
At one point, the little girl ran over and threw her arms around her mom. And my heart squeezed as I heard the response: “Stop hanging on me.”
Now please don’t think I’m judging. I know it was late. The line was creeping at the speed of slug. And I could see exhaustion seeping from this woman’s every pore. I understand. I’ve been there.
But there will come a time when this child will no longer want to hang on to you, my heart whispered to this woman. Please treasure each moment, no matter how difficult. They really do grow up, and away, far too soon.