Sunday, August 22, 2010

On Letting Go

On two mornings in my life, I've woken with the sure conviction that I would do anything to avoid living those days.  The first was the morning after our 1997 bus accident.  The second was the morning we brought Adam to his dorm at the University of Minnesota, Morris. 

The first was understandable.  I knew we were going to have to deal with tragedy and start to collect answers to the unanswerable. 

The second isn't understandable.  My son's not dead.  He's not beyond communication.  He's not even that far away.  More, I know he'll be back periodically.  In our current economy, he may eventually come back to live. 

Still, I didn't want to leave him.

I know he's ready for this new stage of his life.  He's going to love college - the schedule and freedom and people and material. 

I also know every parent faces separation at some point.  I've been preparing it for nearly two decades.  I knew I didn't want to be one of those moms who held too tightly and crippled my children.  And I'm not.

So what is it?

It could be fear of the unknown perhaps.  Adam's leaving creates a gap in our family.  I wonder who will talk to me now about something other than sports.  Jakob's now an "only child" who doesn't yet have a driver's license.  And for crying out loud, who's going to put salt in the water softener?

I keep having brief moments of panic when I think of all I haven't taught him yet.  I haven't taught him how to stock a kitchen.  I haven't taught him the best way to budget.  I haven't taught him how to get stains out of his jeans or keep his t-shirts white.  I haven't given him all the tools he needs.

Then I remind myself we have given him all the tools he needs.  We've raised him to love the Lord.  We've loved him unconditionally.  We've said "no" because it was good for him even though saying "yes" would have been so much easier.  We've taught him the importance strong relationships with good people. 

As for the rest?  I didn't know all that important life stuff until I was in my thirties.  He'll figure it out.

In the few moments I had with Adam before we left him at Morris, he hugged me tight.  I'm sure he had conflicting emotions - excitement, fear, a little abandonment.  But the only thing he said was, "I'm going to be fine, Mom." 

I had no words at all, just the conviction that he's right.  He will be fine.

Scenes from Morris
August 17, 2010

The Campus Sign
The University of Minnesota, Morris, is located in a very rural area of the state.  It's a nice campus, small and nicely maintained with quite a few newly renovated buildings.  It has the feel of a small town, and every person has been friendly and welcoming each time we've been there.

The History Behind the Tuition Waiver Plan
Students who can demonstrate Native American ancestry, even those not able to register on the "Rolls" are granted tuition waivers at UMM.  We're thankful for that!

The Brotherly Goodbye
They actually had a nice brotherly hug until Jakob said, "Bet you never thought your face would be smashed in your younger brother's chest at your first day of college."  Adam quickly showed him that Jakob may have a few inches on him, but Adam's clearly still "the boss" - at least for awhile.

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