Monday, August 11, 2008

Mama's Lament

By Margy McCarthy


It’s certainly not for lack of material that I struggle putting together this post.

I have plenty to say.

The problem, I’m afraid, is that it’s just too soon to say it. It’s too fresh.

I’ve heard it talked about; heard the keening of other mothers- but I guess I didn’t know how primal those cries were. I think you can’t know until it happens to you.

My baby boy left home today. He hugged me hard, told me he loved me and would miss me, kissed me three- maybe four times on the way out the door-- and he was gone. And now he will never be in my home every day the way he has been his whole life until today- ever again.

Everything has changed.

I know that my job- from the moment he was placed into my arms in the recovery room nineteen years ago- has been to take that baby home and make a grown up out of him. Physically, there is no question of my success. I also know that I have stretched my time with him already by his doing his first year of college locally.

Don’t get me wrong. I am excited for him, out on his own, stretching his wings, seeing what he can do. I remember that feeling myself. I am also more than a little jealous that he will be in Flagstaff where the air smells of pine and the shade is deep and green.

But I’m scared for him too.

And there is an ache inside me I’m afraid will be there forever.

And that’s all I can say about it right now.

6 comments:

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, Margy, I wish I was there to give you a hug and talk over some coffee. Four years ago I was in your shoes, wondering how in the world those 18 years had flown.

Now, it's just normal as the rhythms of the house have changed.

But, I'd be less than honest if I said I never miss those toddler days.

Daisy said...

Hugs to you! The first time is the hardest - or maybe the last one is. I've only had the first.

Laura said...

Margy, I'm sending you big, long-distance hugs. I hope you get to talk to him every day! xo

Angie Ledbetter said...

Mom, you "done good," and your baby bird won't ever fly far from your heart.

Feel your loss, as I too have a 19-y.o. poised to flap (not flop) after her first year at college at home. The goings and comings of the 16- and 17-y.o. keep my mourning to a minimum.

I love Erma and love this blog/clog. I'll be back. Thanks to Kathryn Magendie who recommended it to me!

MargyWrites said...

I wish you were all here for hugs and coffee too. Of course, with cell phones and the internet I will be in far more regular contact with him than my parents were able to be with me. Especially here at the beginning.

When I went off to school, we had a once-a-week visit on Sunday afternoons via Ma Bell and the quirky college switchboard. I did get frequent, hilarious letters from my mom which were read aloud at lunchtime in the dining hall at my friends requests.

I need to be that kind of mom. The funny letter-writer sort- instead of the panicky, freaked out one I was the other day. I SO wasn't cool.

Plus- this almost-13 girl of mine is keeping us busy. She is already complaining that now she gets cuddled too much.

Margaret Cloud said...

It never gets easy to see your off springs fly the coop, all you can do is be there for them. Trouble is now a days the more of the kids are flying back to the coop because it is too hard to make it out there.