It’s Spring Break 2019. I’m spending the first two days of the break in Los Angeles, touring universities with my High School Junior. I have to tell you that as excited as I am for my son, this is heart-wrenching for me, his mama.
Where did the time go? I mean, really, where did it go? It seems like yesterday when I was holding my guy in my arms and dreaming about all the precious years ahead of us. I know, I know—we still have more time in high school and—God willing—many more years as mother and son.
Yet, as I watched him walk around the UCLA campus, during our tour, I couldn’t help but choke back tears. It’s an emotional time for any mother. Certainly, it is for this one.
In all transparency, I’ve felt a bit out of sorts. I’ve been pretty quiet. I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly why until I sat here in the hotel room—alone with my thoughts. I think I’m missing my son already. I’m reminding myself to stay in the present moment, but somehow the future presses in and I feel a little homesick for yesterday.
Homesick for when my son was a little one. Homesick for those tender moments when he would crawl in my lap and snuggle up. Homesick for the knowing that, safe in my arms, I could and would protect him from anything and everything.
With each passing year, my arms have had to open up a little more and a little more. Letting go isn’t easy. It’s just not. Plain and simple, it’s hard. Mamas, you know what I mean.
I’m so very grateful for the young man my son has become. I’m proud of him. If I could travel back in time I’d tell the little boy what an amazing teenager he is today. I’d remind him to make the most of every moment because time moves quickly. In the blink of an eye, our children are on their way.
I remember a song that my mother used to sing. It always made me cry as a girl—which was a curious thing. Looking back, perhaps, I know it was readying me for this time in motherhood. I think of the lyrics now and my tears begin to flow, once again.
Those lyrics went something like this: turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four, turn around and you’re a young man walking out of the door.
I’m surrendering to these feelings that are rushing in. I’m allowing myself to move through what needs to be felt. I won’t drown. I’ll stay afloat, but I need to feel this ocean of emotion. I need to dive deep in order to surface and catch my breath. Because, although I’m not carrying my son in my arms, anymore, I will always carry him in my heart.
Time to be brave, mama.
Bravery is calling me onward.
There are exciting chapters ahead. Motherhood takes on many diverse and different forms. I’ll never stop being my boy’s mama. And, when I feel a little homesick for those young and tender times, I can close my eyes and travel back. I can time travel through the years and follow the miracle of my son. Every moment has been and continues to be pure gift.
The reality is that I’m stepping into a journey I’ve watched other mothers explore as they’ve prepared their kids for college. One thing I’ve learned from these amazing moms is that the journey is both bitter and sweet. Acknowledge the bitter parts and savor the sweet.
That’s life, isn’t it?
Life comes with both the bitter and sweet, the difficult and the delightful. As an adoptee, I know this truth firsthand. I understand that there are lessons to both sides of life. We must be willing to stay open to the learning.
I also recognize that this moment in my son’s life has come quick for him, too. He’s mentioned several times, “I can’t believe I’m going to be a Senior next year.” Yet, here we are. We’ll move through this process with elegance. No pressure. The goal is for my son to choose what’s right for him and my role is to support that choice.
And, I will.
And, I do.
I support him.
The boy who is now a young man.
I support his dreams. His vision.
I support him, and I believe in him.
My son is here for a mighty and one-of-a-kind purpose. God’s got him. He always has.
I vow to make this next chapter one filled with joy, laughter, and a good dose of fun. Yes, there will be tears—it’s me after all—but I’ll make sure to be transparent in those moments. This is motherhood, in real time, and it calls for real emotions.
We have another college to tour today!
Deep breaths, mama, deep breaths.
I’ll keep diving deep, coming up for air, breathing, and loving big.
It’s all I know how to do.
Onward mamas, onward!