An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Letting Go

College move-in day.

The date has been circled on our calendar for a while now, but it somehow never seemed real.

In recent weeks we've registered for classes, ordered books, purchased clothes, and watched the college stockpile in our guest bedroom grow. But it was like we were planning a trip.

Last night I prepared a farewell meal. We watched home videos, we laughed and gave last minute advice, but the idea that our family of five would soon be  a family of four didn't seem real.

Driving to Clemson this morning we were quiet. It was beginning to seem real, but then we arrived on campus and were caught up in a whirlwind of orange: the giant paw prints welcoming us to town, the banners hanging from every building and storefront, and the eight upperclassmen wearing orange shirts who descended on our van to help us carry everything up to Nicholas's room.

Unpacking, cleaning, making the bed ... it didn't seem real. It was fun. And exciting.

But later, when Nicholas walked us to the van, I looked at my son and reality crashed down in the form of tears and a lump in my throat that prevented me from saying goodbye, or I love you.

I couldn't even say the words.

And it reminded me of something I wrote on Nicholas' first day of Kindergarten: It seems that once a mother gives birth, she then spends the rest of her life letting her baby go.

Nicholas' room.
We left a care package on Nicholas' bed filled with notes and little gifts.
Here is Timothy's note to Nicholas.
Nonna & Nonno's parting gift:
Dum-Dums for the smart college student.


tiziana said...

Cara Maria, questo è un momento di speranza ma anche di tristezza e penso che i primi giorni di lontananza siano veramente difficili, Dami è andato via più di quattro anni, ma è come fosse partito ieri.
Ti scrivo la poesia di Kahlil Gibran che forse conoscerai già, ma che è sempre molto bella:
I vostri figli non sono figli vostri.
Sono figli e figlie della vita stessa.
Essi non vengono da voi ma attraverso di voi, e, benchè vivano con voi, non vi appartengono.
Potete donare loro il vostro amore, ma non i vostri pensieri perchè essi hanno i loro pensieri.
Potete custodire i loro corpi, ma non le loro anime, esse abitano la casa del domani che neppure in sogno potrete visitare.
Potete tentare di essere simili a loro, ma non potrete farli simili a voi perchè la vita procede e non s'attarda sul passato. Voi siete gli archi da cui i figli, come frecce vive, sono scoccate lontane.
L'Arciere vede il bersaglio sul sentiero dell'infinito, e vi tende con forza, affinchè le sue frecce vadano rapide e lontane. Affidatevi con gioia alla mano dell'Arciere, poichè come ama il volo della freccia, così ama la fermezza dell'arco.
Un abbraccio forte forte.

Ua said...

Bia, hang in there! You are the best Mom and a great role model for the rest of us! There's a reason God let you go first on this Journey! Love, Ua

Suburban Correspondent said...

With my first, it didn't hit me until the first evening he was gone and I walked in from work and didn't see him sitting in the living room, reading or working on school work. You do get used to it, though, and it is such fun watching them enjoy their new lives!

Anonymous said...

St Josemaira Escriva had this great analogy about raising kids: it's like flying a kite. As they get older the kite flies higher and higher, we need to let go of more and more string, until they are flying so high we run out of string and we have to let go. And I am sure there are plenty of more analogies out there as well. Still hurts. I am convinced that parenting gets harder as kids get older. - Michelle