••• Friday, August 26, 2005

Today is The Day.. 

Today is the day,
We give babies away,
With half a pound of tea.

My mom used to sing that song, when I was but a wee. The rest of it goes something like..."So if you know any ladies, without any babies, just send them round to me." It was actually a disconcerting little ditty, to my tiny ears.

Anyway, the first verse has been running through my inner mom space, all day. Ever since I woke at dawn with the dawning: Today is the day, they give babies away. To college.

Today. My Boy. To College.

After that first rude awakening, I was able to fall back to sleep, briefly. After all, I have been preparing for/bracing against/eagerly awaiting this day since that first transitional meltdown, after the last high school basketball game (See March 6 post, Senior Moments).

But soon enough, a tiny jolt of sorrow-based-reality (aided by a preternatural taunt from The Man Who Lives in Cheddar's Mouth) had me out of bed and down the stairs, to stare at the neat piles of Brand New Gap, lined up on the dining room table.

Three preppy piles of Where'd-My-Baby-Go? To make a mother cry.

Thankfully, these moments of weakness have been few and far between. And whenever I need a healthy dose of pragmatism, I need only recall a question from The Cakers, posed earlier in the week: "Is Cameron going to College? Or Costco? I can't remember."

I Didn't Think it Would Suck Like This
Monday night, Cam was heading out for a "last hurrah" sleepover at a girl's cottage, with about a dozen of his closest friends. Before I could stop, I hear me say, "I assume her parents are going to be there?"

Immediately, I realized my error. Unless I was giving unsolicited advice on a hostess gift, my question was out of line. Because,in a few short days, ready or not, my boy was going on a very long, sleepover. No parents required. Ever. Again.

I think the hardest part, this week, has been standing by, helpless, as Cam grapples with the heartache of saying goodbye to his closest friends, as each takes his/her leave of their safe, community harbor.

"I didn't think it would suck like this." He said. "I'm excited and everything, and I know I'll see everybody again, but it's never going to be the same. We're all going to change. At least a little."

Yeah, baby. We will.

At least a little.

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