After I posted today's blog, I began to consider my own shift in attitude, 'cause I had one too. We drove back to Ohio after a nice 6 day break at home. Days before I left, I felt a tension in myself. I could not fully identify it and the feeling made me uncomfortable. Naturally, we made it back to the apartment at a slower pace since we were not in a hurry to assume life again. It was if we never had the break. Then I started to receive invitations from family and friends to get together, go out, dinner, movies, tennis, and so on. These are the typical summer activities and I was left out. I felt myself sink into a pit of sadness. Like Buddy, I did not want to be here either.
Reflecting on this despair, I hopefully did not let him know that I was pretty miserable. What good am I as a parent and role model if I can't walk the talk...make the most out of it...change the attitude...you can be happy wherever you are....
Then it occurred to me. Suddenly, my attitude shifted and I was humbled...this is my last summer with the big kid...this is it....no more...nada... It is my last chance to have some quality and quantity time with him. It is the last chance that we can get to know each other as individuals and not as mother and son. It is an opportunity for one lasting connection in which he knows that I consider the word love as a verb...not a noun...Love is something that you live. It is something that is performed with actions rather than words or lip service. Love is doing something for the person that you love not because you want to but because he or she wants to and it is the right thing to do. It is a selfless act. An act that should not be measured against anything else. Furthermore, love is companionship, being there in the good times and bad, moving across country if necessary, leaving comforts of home, support, and listening to their preferred stations on the radio. It is a personal choice.
That epiphany opened my eyes and made me more aware of the unique opportunity that I now have to connect with my youngest child. These situations and experiences that we have had together will remain with the two of us forever. The trips, miles, dinners, laughter and the tears were worth the sacrifice of a little time in my long life. The parties, invitations, beach, happy hours, and tennis will be there when I return....Buddy won't be. He'll be back at college with his friends and team mates creating his life and future on his own, yet knowing that in a battle or dog fight, I will be there to either pave the way or show support. What a tremendous gift I have been given. It is something that I will never forget. In a way, I have been taught something of great value that really cannot be articulated, only felt. I am glad that I figured it out before the summer was over. As I now look back, it has been one of the best summers of my life.