Monday, January 23, 2017

And Then There Are Emotions. Man, I Hate When They Take Over

I embraced my inner Marine over the last couple of days and impressed myself that I kept all emotions boxed tight in a male space where they couldn't be reached, unhinged, or emancipated. I knew it was going to be hard to drop him off at school, but I was also ready (even managed to avoid the kid's last good bye to Glamis as we left Connecticut - that was between them). I simply sat in my car "warming it up."

I was also wrote a letter before I left Connecticut where I shared what I wanted to say in print - that way, a one-on-one wouldn't be required. My assumption was he could read it in his dorm and I could be sleeping at my parents Saturday night, however, Chitunga said, "But we're getting breakfast in the morning, aren't we, say our goodbyes?"

(Um, no. My plan was to be in Connecticut by noon where I would text him to say, "By the way, I'm home. Good Luck this semester).

Nope. We did breakfast. It was awkward and I really didn't want to eat. My stomach was in knots, but everyone who eats at the shitty diner we found probably says the same thing. When I finally dropped him back off at the dorm after breakfast I simply admitted, "You know I hate this crap," and he agreed, "I know." Then we stared at each other, until I finally said, "You get the final say."

He gave me his say and I simply maintained a stoic face. He's ready to be independent and I reminded him, "Now is just a comma, not a period." Then we hugged. I gave him a kiss atop his head (he's a short shit, after all) and took off.

I didn't think about it as I drove away. I got engrossed in several essays I downloaded and  managed to return to CT in record time before I  settled to prepare for the week. I felt a need, however, to go into his room to clean up what he left behind....which I did. I rearranged and dusted (that sort of thing). I found many of the Apple phone chargers that have gone missing over the last few years (hmmm, I thought they disappeared for good) and put together a collection of his items that make me the happiest: photos, trophies, the globe, his 5K numbers, his eagles, his SP Plus employee badges, his children's books about becoming a pilot, and his nerf dart guns...This was okay. I have a shrine now that I can look at with pride and love.

Glamis jumped onto his bed and cuddled with the big stuffed animal Jacob Charles gave him. That was hard to see.

I then began to sort Chitunga's air fresheners (Glade owes us a letter of appreciation in how much we've invested in them). Strangely, it was these DAMN air fresheners - those frickin' plug-ins in every outlet of his room - that triggered me. It was then that it really hit me- this is going to be something brand new. He's away. He's in Syracuse and I am here.

I simply went into my room to process it all (read: I couldn't stop the outpouring of tears. Whacky, but true. I guess I needed that). It's hard, and I wonder how my parents did it. How any adult does it.

But where is he?
(It's all good)
It's surreal, but it's part of game.

And then  Glamis stared at me  - how could I come into the house without Chitunga?

Every car that goes by causes her to jump to the window in anticipation. When she realizes it isn't him, she comes to my side and stares, ears pinned back and wondering,

Chitunga's classes begin today. His roommate is in - his suite mates are there - and he's worked hard to get to this place. He deserves the independence and he can't wait to prove he is ready.

The Patriots won, which is a good sign, and he's representing New England in Syracuse. I love it.

It is his story now, as it has always been (but man, I'm going to miss him). The Eagle if flying from the pond.

I can't wait for him to come home.

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