Sending Him Off Again
Zeb left yesterday afternoon, heading to Vegas again for an extended visit with family and friends. We’ll meet him there before Thanksgiving, and for my little sister’s wedding, which means we have three weeks to share together – just Justin and me.
It’s still weird, having a teenager who has a life beyond yours.
Does that part of parenting ever get less weird? I’m told it doesn’t.
I suddenly understand this quote so much better now:
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. (Elizabeth Stone)
He suddenly has memories that I don’t share, details that I’ll never know, conversations with strangers on a plane that I’ll only wonder at, trivial moments of his life that are only his, not worth sharing or even knowing but still taken for granted as a mama that you’ll be a part of.
At the same time, it’s really cool.
It’s amazing to see photos of him towering over to his grandma, to call him at night and chat casually about his flight and his plans, to see how much he swells with a subtle sort of confidence and pride, responsibility and excitement.
It’s a little like all our efforts in parenting are materializing, but we don’t get to see it.
Justin and I were talking about what it will be like when he’s flown the coop.
What will we do with ourselves? Will we be bored? Will Justin drive me crazy without Zeb to play with or pick on? Will our lives change radically, and if so, in what direction?
It feels as though trips like Zeb’s are good for us, Justin and me.
It’s like practice for having our heart walking around without us, a piece of our trio and also a piece of our hearts off doing his thing for the long-term someday. We’ve never been just the two of us, without Zeb (Justin was a late arrival into our family).
It’s an interesting role to play, this couple (instead of trio) thing.
So we’re playing it up. We’re doing all the things couples usually do before they grow their family. Or at least the things we imagine they do.
It’s weird, like I said, to have this big empty space where his energy used to be. But it’s life too, to eventually have my heart off living his life. And it’s incredible for him, just like I was saying before. So we may as well get with the program, reign in our desire to hound him, and make the most of it for us too.