College,  Me,  Mental Health

I’m fine. Really!

“How are you doing, mama?” I cannot tell you the number of people who have reached out to ask me that question in the last week to 10 days. And I genuinely appreciate it! But I’m really fine. Really! Trust me, no one is more surprised than I am. Those last couple of weeks were rough. It is emotional whiplash going from “how is my baby old enough to leave” to “you can’t kill him, you’ve already paid too much to send him away” (and back) every few minutes. Soiling the nest is definitely a thing, y’all. So many mixed emotions going on all at once, constantly, for weeks. For him as well as me, I imagine.

I still wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get through moving him in without falling apart at some point, probably when it was time to actually leave. I had watched many women stronger than I try in the prior few days and over the past several years, and most failed completely at not turning into a blubbering mess in the end! But for me, the anticipation of it was ultimately worse than what actually happened. There were a few aggravations getting him moved in, which I certainly think helped “burn away” some of the pent up emotions and make me calmer than I might have been if things had all gone smoothly. (By the end, I was just happy and relieved that we had actually gotten it done with as few issues as we had.) And the drive home – which took under an hour even in pretty heavy traffic and rain – really reminded me that he is *right*there*. It’s not like we dropped him 1000 miles from home, or even 100 miles from home; that would have been a VERY different thing! It’s 20 miles, which translates to under an hour in standard levels of rush hour weekday traffic (and under 30 minutes on a good traffic day).

A friend cautioned me that it might hit me later (it did for her), and I’m still wondering if that may yet happen. It hasn’t even been a week yet, and we’ve had text contact more days than not since he left, even if only briefly. I did have a “misty eyed moment” Monday morning when I walked into the kitchen and saw his personalized water bottle sitting on the counter. We’ve all had similar water bottles for about a year now; it was bought for a cruise, not college, but I know he likes it, and he was welcome to take it with him if he wanted to. But he took a plain one instead that is taller and slimmer, and thus fit better in the outer pockets of his backpack, leaving the coordinating member of the “family set” at home. ::sniff sniff:: I’m still getting accustomed to there being just as much milk remaining in the refrigerator when I get up as there was when I went to bed. (Previously, somewhere between 16 and 64 ounces (0.5 to 2 liters) would typically disappear overnight.) And I swear, I woke up in the middle of the night Monday night, thinking I heard him walking down the hall or rattling around in the hall bathroom that shares a wall with our bedroom. I guess it will take time for my “mom hearing” to learn that those types of noises are now more likely to be the cats than the child.

So yes, I’m fine. Yes, really. At least for now. Ask me again when I haven’t seen or heard from him in weeks because he’s “busy.”

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