Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting my heart and head on the same page

Could someone tell me when I’m going to stop crying? Please?

Since he was a toddler, Sean and I have told Michael, “When you graduate from high school, you will go to college. Then you will graduate from college and go on to lead a grown-up life, which will hopefully include a wife for you and grandchildren for us.”

Michael is now 17 years old. He is a senior. He is going to graduate, assuming his math class doesn’t kill him. And all that talk of, “You’ll graduate and go to college,” sunk in for him. He applied to and was accepted at a school where he will study Automotive Marketing and Management (has there ever been a more perfect major for anyone?). He’s excited. Sean’s excited. I am excited in theory. In reality, not so much. Because all the times I said, “you will graduate and go to college,” I never thought about how the Mommy in me would feel about him actually graduating and going to college.

I was at church on Sunday and someone asked what Michael’s plans are for next year. Before I could even get out the word, "college," I felt tears burning my eyes. Last week, Michael asked me to sign his dorm housing form and I burst into tears.  I’m crying now just typing about it. And I’m not talking about tearing up; this is full-on, blubbering like a baby, bawling my eyes out, snot coming out my nose, crying. And I can’t stop it. Can. Not. Stop. It.

I realize going to college is a perfectly normal step – an 18 year old almost-man moving on with his life – but somewhere along the line my head forgot to tell my heart that my baby son going to college is a good thing.

Thing is, I really am happy for him. He knows what he wants to do, has found a school that specializes in it, and he’s going there. He is going to do just fine, nay, great! I know this. I know this! And this is exactly what we’ve trained him to do! But my heart is having a very difficult time getting with the program.

And I’m crying again.

Y’all, all this crying has to stop. It’s bordering on the ridiculous now. The kids are mocking me. Sean’s ready to send me off to the funny farm. I’m seriously considering having my tear ducts surgically sealed so I can get through the graduation ceremony without oceans pouring down my face.

I have 14 weeks to get my act together. Fourteen weeks. Pretty sure if I asked a Magic 8 Ball if I will be able to 86 the tears, it would say, "Outlook not so good."


  1. Anonymous9:54 AM

    I was filling out re-enrollment forms for Sarah last week. In the package came next years proposed calendar with graduation date. I totally started boo-hooing and was surprised at how overwhelmed I was with tears and sadness that this phase of my life is ending...and it is a year and a half away! I can totally relate. I am happy for her...and some days I really want her to go away :) Tracey

  2. Brenda11:46 AM

    Christy...this is just practice for when you are watching him watching his bride walk down the aisle...and when he presents you with your first grandchild...and when he tells you "thank-you" for all you have done! Let the tears have earned them!

  3. People who love each other are never really apart. Remember that.

  4. Went through the same thing with Jon. So thought I'd mentally prepare myself for when Tina, my baby, left the nest. Worked on that for four years. Did it help? Not so much. I flew down to help her get all settled at Word of Life in Florida and on the flight home I cried the whole way. I'm sure my seat-mate was wondering what kind of crazy person she'd been seated next to. The nice thing was, Tina called home every day. I was lucky to see or hear from Jon once every few weeks (even though he was closer). It's a "how guys/girls communicate" kinda thing.

    But to encourage you: In the end we made it through, and moved on to the next phase. Now I'm just waiting for some grandbabies :)

  5. Thanks for all these great comments. I really appreciate knowing I'm not alone! And, of course, I really love your comment, Michael-man.

  6. Mary Ann6:33 PM

    Once again, you've made me cry, Christy! And, I'll be crying with you on graduation week end. Love the picture of you and Michael.


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