Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The relentless passage of time

A week ago a milestone was reached in my household when my 17 year old son attended his senior prom. The months of anticipation, preparation and agitation finally came to head when I drove him to the place where the limousine would make the first of several pickups on the way to the banquet hall. Seeing my son in his tailored suit, surrounded by a bevy of beautiful young women, I acutely realized the passage of time. No longer was he the cute, chubby toddler with the devilish eyes and the dimpled chin. Now he is a handsome young man with a nascent beard on his chin, still sporting those beautiful devilish eyes. You can see pictures of him in my Photobucket album. Just click on the link in the box at the top of the right hand column.

His graduation ceremony at the end of June will officially mark his transition out of the ranks of childhood. That countdown began when he stepped into that limousine and said to me, "I'll call you" as the door closed and the car pulled away. Yes, he did call me that night, several times, in fact. When he came home at dawn, tired and grinning, I knew there was no turning back. In a very short time the transformation will be complete.

As a mother, I've always considered it my responsibility and my privilege to try and prepare my children for this transition. I've done my best to teach my kids what they need to know in order to navigate this sometimes scary world in a safe and sane manner without me there to guide them. But there is something in the process that I was not aware of, something that totally blindsided me and caught me off guard. While I was preparing them for life without me, nobody was preparing me for life without them.

I still have one more to go. She will be graduating high school in another three years. Surely I will have prepared myself for the adjustment by then. I can only hope.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
- Gitana

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