Now the mother of a soon-to-be graduate, I've been struck now and then with a pang of something like panic.
It catches me at awkward moments: it struck when I opened Adam's graduation announcements to see the finished product, again when I cleaned towels off his floor one morning, and yet again when I attended a choir concert and watched his senior friends perform.
Things are going to be different next year.
So how does a mother handle this kind of change? Considering I'm not even sure how to plan his graduation party, I'm not equipped to offer any kind of advice.
Sometimes I reach for the phone to call my own mother. Who should we invite to Adam's party? How much food should I make? Is it okay to... And then I realize my mother isn't the person to call.
Instead, I made a list. It's a masterpiece of a list. Every project I've wanted to do at our house since we moved there fifteen years ago is on the list.
Do I need to finish my list to have a party? Nope. I'm not one of those people who needs to have everything perfect to enjoy my family and friends - if I were, we would rarely entertain! But my list sure gives me an excellent opportunity to put everyone else to work.
Somehow this work is giving me time to adjust. The work is keeping me in this moment, in today.
And in the doing, I'm reminded of my own excitement when I was on the verge of starting my adult life. I am not going to be the mother who dampens Adam's excitement and hope, nor will I be the mother who neglects the little moments of trepidation he feels at the thought of leaving home and going to a strange place full of new people.
The mother factor matters in these moments.
Seems like there's a fine line to walk. I guess we'll walk it like we've done everything else since Adam came to our house - depending on Grace, resting in the circle of our family, and sharing heaps of joy and laughter.