Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just being a mother. Maybe dads think like this too? I don’t know.
This morning Jack received an award from the social studies department at school. I watched him walk in and take his seat among the other recipients. He looked older, somewhat wiser and ready to move on to college in the fall.
I, however, am not quite ready yet.
I am sure that all parents feel this way right before their children leave for college. I remember when Amelia left. I made her watch the scene from the movie “Taken” (you know which scene I am talking about). I purchased personal alarms and pepper spray and with a huge amount of reluctance took the tracker off her phone. I texted her every night. I have been tempted to have her dates/boyfriends followed and background checked, unless they are Italian of course, then they may get a pass on that. The realization comes that you hopefully have done your best to raise them and teach them to be smart and paranoid.
Now it is almost time for Jack to go. Well, Jack makes me nervous on multiple levels. He cuts it to the minute to get to school or work. He drove home from the gas station with his wallet tucked in the tail light. His laundry pile is so high that I cannot see out his window and his food groups are bacon, pancakes and boneless BBQ wings.
In my mind as a mother, I fear when he gets to Alabama that he will sleep through his alarm, lose his laptop or doesn’t heed the hurricane warning and gets swept up in the monsoon of wind and rain. We are not even going to talk about the plane rides back and forth or the safety issues plaguing this country’s schools and universities. I am sweating already.
Flip side. His heart is too big for the body that holds it. He loves his friends and his family, and he is kind to everyone, even if it is not always reciprocated. His outgoing personality makes him infamous in this town and many times when I am getting gas or running into the Coop for milk, I hear, “Excuse me, are you Jack’s mom?” and I smile. When he was two or three years old and he would hear a baby cry he would be so upset and he’d say to me, “Why is that baby crying? Where is his mama?” There is that heart again.
Jack, I hope when you get to the University of Alabama you can find a washer and dryer, make an attempt to make your bed and put forth every effort to be a good boy. (ok that’s a little lame, I admit) Remember to call your mother and tell me you miss me. Humor me, because in my mind, you are still a little boy waiting for me to make you pancakes and bacon and watch Thomas the Train.
You are smart and engaging and you are going to be a spectacular German teacher. If you give yourself to that profession or any other profession you choose, you will receive so much more in return. In your future, you will impact others just as you have up until now.
Ich bin stolz auf dich Jack und ich liebe dich mehr als das Leben selbst!
I am proud of you Jack and I love you more than life itself!