|This is Sam a mere 5 or 6 years ago... |
it's a trick - no way on earth it can be more...
Today, my oldest son walked across stage to get an academic award, the lead up event for his high school graduation in two weeks.
As he crossed the room and walked toward the stage, I could see my husband looking at me, waiting for the tears to flow.
"Gonna cry?" he asked.
The truth is, I thought I would.
It's not like I'm not one of those weepy moms.
Trust me, I am. There's no one weepier than I.
But the problem is, I can't actually internalize that this day -- this moment in time -- is here.
I keep tossing around words like "unfathomable" and "impossible" and "surreal." The truth is, it does feel, very simply, impossible.
I don't know how the time flew.
I don't know how seventeen years can feel like five. Six, tops.
I don't know how time can be so cruel.
Fascinating? For sure.
But he has always been a conundrum and a challenge, and so often I felt I didn't know how to rise to the occasion as his mother.
He's the cliche of the brilliant kid who has little sense of self, and less self-motivation.
He is in no way the child I imagined having when I fantasized about motherhood, when I walked around with him in my belly, when I read and sang and danced with him nonstop when he was a toddler. In many ways he was way more difficult, way less family-oriented, way less manageable. In many ways he was quietly disruptive, constantly forcing me to accept and rethink my idea of what and how my family would be. At times, he has been a disappointment -- NOT in who HE is, but rather in MY utter inability as a parent to figure him out -- and to figure out how to nurture him in the best way, which is truly what every child deserves.
If anything makes me weepy, this does. This I can feel, this I have internalized, day after day and year after year, in the very marrow of my bones. The fact that there are no do-overs, that there's not more time to try to do it better, to figure out the puzzle of this child. To hold his hand more, and read and sing and dance harder, to unlock for him everything he is and can be.
Alas, whatever I haven't done right, done well enough, done to my own satisfaction, he went to school this morning and walked across the stage to get an award. He's graduating. And he's going to a good college.
That's something, I remind myself. "He's done okay," but the word "done" feels utterly unfathomable,