Juston left for school Saturday in the midst of the ice storm. I was worried, of course, but I was also sad. He was home for a few weeks and although I didn’t see him every day, I saw him quite a bit. It was an outstanding visit. Maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s because he’s such a good kid, or maybe it’s because of the new girlfriend (not mine, but his dad’s) that caused him to be present in the moment and engaged. My coworker regularly reminds me that guys don’t even begin to mature until they’re in their 30s, and he’s not even close. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it and happily.
Embarking on parenthood all those years ago did not prepare me for the inevitability of it all. Obviously I’m not going to stop being his mom, but the fact that I’m not needed as much or he’s [sort-of] an adult. Many years ago I thought I would be equipped to handle the finality of Juston growing up, as we have all done and should in fact do, but I wasn’t.
I’m still not ready. Saturday was spent stressing about how his drive was going. Was it icy? Were the roads clear? Were there a lot of cars on the road? How was his road, which hugs the curves of the mountain to the top where he lives? Being the sweet kid that he is, he called me periodically to check in and give a status update (hands-free, of course!). I guess he knew that I was going to worry. There was no surprise there!
I’m happy to report that he made it home safely. Unfortunately another traveler at the same area on I-73 near Candor did not, which only serves to reinforce my worries.
To y’all out there with kids, or any loved ones, tell them how much they mean to you as often as you can. Life can change in an instant. Juston made it home without incident, but there is another family that was not so lucky.
Every day is a gift. Call, text, or email if you can’t do it in person. Enjoy the times you have together and make memories for days you’re apart.