My errand: buying staples for Matt to have in his new place. His new place. They found a place to move to about two weeks ago. I am excited, I have saved all kinds stuff, furniture and kitchen items for this day to come. But when they told me a couple of weeks ago, I listened with enthusiasm, then headed to the garage to have a good cry. But Matt followed me down to ask a question and so my cry was postponed, suppressed for a later time.
I found plenty of bargains on peanut butter, toilet paper, honey, sugar, flour ... you know the things one will need to survive. I was feeling happy with myself at my last stop ... jumped into the car and when the words formed in my head, then came out of my mouth ... 'Matt is moving out' ... I started to cry, the uncontrollable, ugly cry. The kind that you can't stop. The kind that when someone in the car next to you looks over, they get worried. Cried all the way back to the hospital. The nurse asked me if I was okay. I explained my pre-empty-nest attack.
Last night, I let Matt and Bri pick out dishes they wanted to take with them. Picking, packing, panicking. They are only 10 minutes away. I know we will see him often. I know they want to spend time here with us. It is just ... that our son will not be sleeping in his bedroom, where he as slept for the last 20 years. I am worried they won't be able to afford their new lives. Who will cook for them? Will their laundry be done? Who will tell him to be safe when he leaves the house? I won't be able to tell him "I love you" every night at bedtime.
A little photo album of the last 20 years started flipping through my brain ... just little snippets of him at different ages. The bunny he wouldn't go anywhere without. That time he was running through the sprinkles, having lunch and taking naps in the backyard fort, pulling them in the red wagon to the local park, Halloween with his Frankenstein mask, watching him play baseball, basketball, paintball, soccer, trombone. All the hours we spent watching him skate, driving him through Oregon in search of new skate parks. Watching him earn his black belt, winning skating trophies. When he thought he was Batman and when he wore his Gargoyle outfit everywhere. And just as it was a flipbook ... it seems to have gone that quickly. I want to flip through it again and again and have all of those moments back! I keep wondering how it went so fast. How did that happen? When I was looking through all of our photos, David asked me what I was looking for and I cried out through my sobbing ... I am looking for where the time has gone. (Pixel ran up to check on me and lick my tears away.)
I will write him a letter and tell him how proud I am to be his mother. How much fun it is being his mom. How he has made our lives so much more than we thought it would ever be. How he has been a joy to us from the minute of his birth. I can't remember one bad moment with him, one moment that I wasn't overjoyed to have him as my son.
This is his beginning of his adult life, exciting, challenging ... for them looking forward, not back. And I will text him with my new smartphone every night that I love him before I go to sleep.