The long hallway

#3 Son was home for the long weekend. I took him back to school earlier this evening. He'll be there for another couple of weeks - the program ends July 19th. I helped him carry his stuff into his room and, when done, I turned around and walked down this long hallway - from his room, to the entrance.

It's a typical institutional hallway, cinderblock, painted a bright yellow, square incandescent fixtures spaced evenly in the low ceiling. It struck me that soon, very soon, this place will become as familiar to my son as the walls in his room, at home. There's even a chance that soon, very soon, different walls will be 'home', different places and faces will become the familiar and everyday in his life. We will become what he references when he says, to his new places and faces, "When I was growing up." - looking back over his shoulder at where he has been, on his way to wherever it is he is going.

I don't know if I'm ready for this.

As long as we're on the subject ... I don't remember whether I've mentioned this or not, but #3 intends to major in Japanese. At first he thought he might double major and add Computer Science with a minor in Education, but he has decided on a more realistic approach and he's going to double in Education. There's a government program that will pay part of his tuition if he commits to teaching for a while in 'high need' areas after he graduates. He's interested. I hope it works out.

I still don't know if I'm ready for this.

It was hard enough sending him off to the residential high school when he was a Sophomore. But it was High School, and he was still our responsibility. Now he's 18. And it's college. And he's legally an adult.

And I really don't know if I'm ready for this.

And I don't know if HE'S ready, either. It's a long hallway.



Jientje said...

That's life I suppose, kids grow up and we have to let them do that. You did a great job, he has wonderful parents. He'll be fine, don't you worry!

Maggie's Mind said...

I bet he'll be just fine. And that you will too. :)

Shadow said...

it's hard to let go of these little cretins.....

Joyce-Anne said...

It's a big step but I know yiu both can do it.

Cathy said...

i feel for you--i'm going to be so nervous when mine go to college, but excited, too!

NicoleB said...

I can only try to imagine how hard it must be to let go :)

Hyphen Mama said...

I try to imagine what you describe. I'm choking over Kindergarten. I hope HOPE HOPE I'm ready in 13 years, when it's college. When it's your first, you think "It's okay... I've got more at home who still need me." When it's your last.... I can't imagine. Today I long for an empty nest... at least for a few hours. I'm not sure I'll ever really want an empty nest.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

I really have no idea what to say. My youngest sister is a little older than #3 and my dad's been going through the same thing. It's so glaringly obvious that I am not yet at that stage of my life, but I know that my dad is going to be okay and that my sister will be too, and that this moving forward thing is best for both of them.

I'm sure it will work out for both you and your son as well.

witchypoo said...

If he has Asperger's, I wonder if the 'high needs' schools might be too much high stress for him. Is he confident inspiring others? Dealing with confrontation? Mine could barely tolerate high school, and he had to act all psycho just to keep people from messing with him. It was an effective strategy, but was mighty lonesome.

witchypoo said...

Oh, yeah, and better the long hallway than the green mile. But I'm a real Pollyanna.

Momisodes said...

After 18 years with you as his father, I know he will be fine. But my heart does go out to you as I'm sure this must be difficult for you and your wife.

Sending *hugs*

Oh, and don't read my recent post about the day I turned 18 and became an "adult"


Ree said...

Oh Lou. How well I understand this. How very well.

Less than two months until I pack Shortman up and leave him in the dorm. I've been making a list for him. I think I need a list for me, too.

LceeL said...

Jientje: Thank you, Jientje.

Maggie's Mind: I hope you're right, Maggie.

Shadow: Yes, Shadow, it is.

Joyce-Anne: Thanks for the vote of confidence, Joyce-Anne.

Cathy: Yes. Excited, but nervous.

NicoleB: Especially hard, this time.

Hyphen Mama: It's a confusing, nerve-wracking time.

Sarah: Not only best - but inevitable.

Witchypoo: #3 seems to do better and better with groups as he goes along. We'll see.

Momisodes: Okay, I won't. Yeah. Right.

Trannyhead said...

I remember vividly the day my parents dropped me off at college. I didn't even have a roommate - it was a single room. They wanted to keep me a kid for one last night and have me spend the night with them in their hotel, and I refused. I feel bad about that - I'm sure they wanted just one last night for me to be a kid.

Indigo said...

My dear friend we are never ready for what life hands us, whether it be raising our children or watching them become independent adults. My daughter is married and I still have these same fears, I'm not ready for her to be so ensconced in her own life. I think as parents that thread is steadfast, we just don't see it as easily to tug it back to us. (Hugs)Indigo

Jennifer said...

Lou... love this post. love how you worded it all. love how i know just how you are feeling. i'm not sure i'm ready for Trevor to have his first day of first grade and his first day of first grade in a new school with new teachers and classrooms and kids and staff... and i'm not sure i'm ready for Lauren to go to pre-school and be with out me ALL. DAY. LONG. and for Brooke to go to pre-school and be with out me ALL.DAY.LONG. and for them to be apart...for the FIRST time... every day of the week while at pre-school... and for me to start nursing school for the first time after being out of school for 13 yrs. I'm soooo nervous!! but I guess i have to be ready... it's going to happen in Sept... so no reason to dread it... just embrace it.

Your son is and/or will be ready... he is blessed with wonderful parents who gave him such wonderful guidance... he will do fine. you will do fine. :)

sending you hugs!!!


Myst_72 said...

Lou ~ sorry I missed this post.
I understand completely - "I don't know if I'm ready for this"...
Yep, I know how you feel!