Yesterday, I had the best Mother’s Day.
It started in the morning when Nicholas and I had an appointment at the Evans Post Office to renew our passports -- I needed to renew mine because my old one expired this past January and I have never, ever, in all my life, been without a passport; Nicholas needed one going into his senior year because, with a passport in hand, he is primed and ready for adventure. When I handed the clerk Nicholas' birth certificate, signed documents and turned in his old passport, I felt like I was giving my son to the world. He is ready; I am not.
Then, later that afternoon Nicholas accompanied me to Milledgeville to pick up Jonathan. Just the two of us in the car for ninety minutes. We listened to some of his cd’s (mostly classical soundtracks from video games), we talked about a study abroad, and then Nicholas, who is this close to a degree in Computer Engineering, brought up the topic of technology – its place in society and the danger of allowing it to take over the essence of who we are as humans. It was a deep, philosophical discussion, with moral overtones, and I enjoyed it immensely.
In Milledgeville we went to work.
As we climbed up and down stairs (again and again) carrying the contents of Jonathan’s dorm room, and later when the three of us had dinner together before driving back home, I was so thrilled to see how many people greeted Jonathan by name and who stopped to speak with us. What a contrast to the emotions we experienced last summer: the shock when Jonathan didn’t get into his college of choice, the betrayal when he was denied again during an appeal, and the feeling of dread this past fall when we dropped him off at a different college knowing that he didn't know a single person.
But yesterday, in the chaos of a dorm emptying for the summer, I saw my son's ready smile and was reassured to see how Jonathan had found his way. This past year he met new friends, played intramural basketball, walked to Church (mostly) every Sunday, and made the Dean’s List (both semesters).
On the drive home, the setting sun turned farm fields golden yellow, wooden fences cast rippling shadows, and the hilly, two lane road led us closer and closer to twilight. I was driving, Nicholas was napping, and Jonathan – squished in the back between mountains of stuff – was listening to music on his headphones. It was very quiet. But it was a good quiet, the kind which cradles memories, nurtures introspection, and nestles in gratitude.
The kind of quiet which whispers, “Happy Mother’s Day."