In the midst of Bam’s cancer treatments, I have also been preparing my one and only child, Patrick, to leave for college at Belmont University. My apprehension is matched only by my excitement for him having this incredible opportunity. Monogrammed sheets and towels. Check. Foam waffle mattress pad. Check. School approved power strip. Check. Panic attack. Check.
I now know and have accepted that Patrick will be my only child. I’m happy with that. He is such an amazing person and has grown into a fine young man. I don’t want another child, just more Patrick. He was a delightful child, albiet a handful at times, and blows my mind as a young adult. He’s a lot more street smart than I was at that age. Patrick has always been a very compassionate, empathetic person. His friends look to him for advice and wisdom. It makes me heart proud that he has strong character and a healthy sense of self.
What I’m coming to terms with now is that he won’t be in my daily life, not even in stolen moments when he comes home from hanging out with friends, before he goes to bed. It crushes me, the thought that he won’t be there at the end of my days. Over the past year, I have grown more accustomed to an empty-ish nest, when he was working, going to school and got a new car. The silver lining to this difficult change was that he’d be home to sleep, and I’d still wake him up (not a fun job, but I’ll miss it anyway). We’d eat dinners together sometimes and have late night chats.
I’m worried about the puppies. Biscuit is so close to Patrick and grieved himself sick the last time we ever sent him to a kennel during our beach trip. Skyler should be fine unless he’s worried about Biscuit being sad. I’m sure they will both be puzzled over his absence eventually. Fortunately, Nashville has a few pet friendly hotels. Biscuit is the WORST car companion EVER, but it would be worth the trouble to make him and Patrick happy. Skyler, well, he is content wherever he goes.
I never imagined that this day would really arrive. It’s surreal and gives me an uneasy sense of deja vu. Perhaps because it feels like it wasn’t all that long ago that I trekked off to Brown. And then life took me down a winding, thorny, mountainous path…all with this glorious destination in mind. Like reaching the summit of a high peak and watching an eagle soar across the sky.
So far, I haven’t cried. There is too much to celebrate. Getting to know Emily and Susie better has been such a fantastic experience. Susie brought her enormous Nissan Armada to our home on Thursday to load up all of Patrick’s stuff. Then she and I rode up together, while Patrick and Emily drove his car up. We had never gotten to have a long conversation. I absolutely adore her! And I have always adored Emily, from the moment I met her. Now I see where she gets her sunny personality and brilliance. Knowing that Susie and Emily love Patrick so much really touches my heart. She’s rooting for their success and happiness just like me.
Patrick is so lucky to have this much love and support following him all the way to Nashville. I can see him getting overwhelmed at times, but Susie and Emily soothe his anxiety and calm him down.
UPDATE: Patrick is officially moved in and we have left him at school! He has a lot to do in these first few days, so I plan on giving him time to digest everything. I’m not so much sad or upset as I am “Holy Sh*t! What do I do with myself?!?”.