My oldest son left home this morning. His smile clear and wide, across his face. The smile read; excitement, a little nervous glee, maybe uncertainty, should my face be so happy and joyous as I say goodbye? Yes, I believe it should be so happy to go. To embark on one's life after graduating college. Success, celebrated.
We have no honored, tried and true rituals, rites of passage for this event as a culture. As a family, we spent the weekend together in the Adirondacks in a tiny cottage, close quarters, fragile and tender. We had a special dinner and went out to the local ice cream shop last night. This morning, I awoke, made banana muffins and was forunate enough to have one before our high strung beagle managed to scarf down three. ( No love lost here.) We had a group hug, my husband and I embraced him tightly. My younger son said, "See you in a few years for my graduation!" as he ambled off to school. His own excitement and anticipation of moving on loosely masked by his manly, unemotional goodbye. His emotions typically are warn on his sleeves, in full view. My daughter said goodbye with enough love emanating from her very being to surely keep him from harm on his journey.
He left. I finished readying myself for work. Sat briefly with my daughter, who gently asked how I was. Ok. I thought. I moved through the house, with eery ease. Couldn't find my keys. Frantically searched, asked and then demanded help, accused the sweet daughter. Couldn't hear a word she said as she attempted to make sense for me. Through my projected panic and transferrence of loss I stomped around, sighing, searching and after enough distraction, remembered that I went to the garden after the ice cream setting my keys on the table that my son recently brought- home.
The rites and rituals need a little adjusting, the heart, the home is easily transported and forever connected. We did it. We launched our first son, safely, happily, with much love.