AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: September 19, 2013 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
This past Saturday was a whirlwind.
In the car by 6 AM to make the four hour trek to Athens. Normally I’d be dreading a trip like that, but instead I was giddy. We were headed to see Drew.
This would be our first visit since dropping him off at college. The occasion was momentous. His first race as a Bobcat. The gun was scheduled to go off at 10:45, so we gave ourselves plenty of time. There was no way we were going to miss this. It was a big deal.
When we arrived at OU, I played it cool. Drew’s team was all around. I figured tackling him in a great big mamabear hug would be rather uncool. Of course, the scene was very different than the casual atmosphere of his high school races. There were NCAA officials all over the place and teams with fancy busses and fancier gear. This was my first experience as a mother of a college runner so I kind of hung back trying to figure out my place. After discerning a pre-race check in with Drew was acceptable, I made my way over to him to wish him good luck. He was on the ground tying his shoes and when he looked up he smiled.
Then he stood and I was gobsmacked.
He’s only been gone for a month but I the rigor of his phyical regimen is already changing his appearance. He was bigger. Not in a freshman fifteen way…but in a I’m lifting and running a whole hell-of-a-lot kind of way. I later learned I wasn’t the only mother who noticed the physical change in her child.
He gave me a big hug and we chatted a bit. He was excited for his first collegiate race, so I swallowed my instinct to fire questions at him. There’d be time for that later.
When the gun went off I realized how different this college running thing was. There were MEN in this race. Twenty-two year old, physically strapped, road-warrior type MEN. It struck me how young Drew looked in comparison. The other difference sunk in about ten minutes into the race. Gone were the nervous butterflies of Drew’s high school running days. The college scholarship is his. The athletic accomplishments that he worked so hard for have already been attained. This race…this team…this experience is his reward. The pressure is off so I got to watch and enjoy.
And that’s what I did. I smiled all the way through knowing how satisfied Drew must be. He loves his classes. His roommate is a hit. He’s found an instant group of like-minded friends in his teammates. He has officially arrived.
After the race we carried out the regular college parental duties. You know…grocery store run; lunch at a restaurant; laundry advice. We didn’t have much time. Ryan was running at 5:30 in Toledo and we weren’t going to miss his race.
As we drove away from the dorm, I realized just how far I’ve come over the past month. Sure, I miss Drew but going off to college is just another positive step forward on the road of his life. I’ve never been one to get all teary eyed when my kids transition from one stage of to the next. I’ve always moved forward excited for the new experiences they’d enjoy. I think I got all tripped up by focusing on Drew’s exit from our daily lives instead of looking forward to the opportunities that are in his future. The next ten years are likely to hold some of the most life changing events for him. I think this past weekend I realized that what lies ahead is all (God-willing) going to be as rewarding as watching him grow up in our home.
And that, my friends, is a light bulb moment.
A few more from the weekend…
Needless to say…I was exhausted come Monday.
I’m over at Whattoexpect.com today writing about the advantages of being a new mom in my forties. AOL will run the post next week. Can’t wait for the comments. (Insert sarcasm.)