random thoughts

On the wall above my nightstand is a little school photo of a twelve year-old boy. I stuck it there proudly, years ago. I may go months without looking at it, but when I happen to see it, I smile. My son is twenty-seven now and off in graduate school, but the picture stays there. Mostly out of habit.
When he went out of state to school it nearly killed me. I’m still sad many days.
It wasn’t so difficult when my daughter married and moved out of state, but I think part of that was because she married right before she left. I missed her terribly. I still do. We did so many things together. But I knew she had someone to love her. She was not alone. My son is.
The births of my children were wonderfully spaced. While my daughter was an only child for the first seven years of her life, my son had his time alone with his parents after she moved out. We shared so many things together. We cooked, he shared u-tube videos with me and took pictures of his MRP game adventures and emailed them to me. We watched television together. We talked. We argued.
I tried to tell myself when he moved away that it was not as if he were going into danger. Many mothers at that time were saying goodbye to sons boarding planes to Iraq and Afghanistan. My loss was nowhere near the caliber of theirs and I respect them so much; I don’t know how they could live with what must have been such massive fear. Sadly, some of them were saying goodbye for the last time. I know they loved their sons and daughters every bit as much as I love mine.
That is how I survive. With every problem, I tell myself that it’s not as bad as it could be. When I get up and stumble around getting ready for work in the morning, I tell myself it could be worse: I could be without a job. That would drive me crazy. When I have car trouble, at least I have a car. And when I miss my son, I know he is still out there, within reach of a phone or Skype.
When he has a problem, he gets annoyed if I offer the reasoning that things could be worse. He says that’s a waste of logic and that it doesn’t resonate with him. He says he already knows these things. I’m sure everyone has their way of coping. He does fine. But I wonder if he ever really appreciates what he has in comparison to someone less fortunate. Not as feeling superior, but as feeling fortunate for that one day.
Meanwhile, it was a hard day at work today and I am maudlin. I missed “what’s for dinner, Mom”, the minute I walked in the door. But that’s okay. I can Skype him in a few minutes and I will laugh.

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