Thursday, October 23, 2008

Empty Nesting...

Empty Nesting…
I have made absolutely no bones about the fact that I am in the market for a good therapist for next August when my baby leaves for college; not to mention the fact that a good anti-depressant is CERTAINLY not beneath me.
Having said that, let me say that our trip up to Moscow to preview the University of Idaho was wonderfully encouraging. First of all, you may or may not be aware that Sean-Martin is a Vandal alum. (That would be the University of Idaho Vandals.) He had such a great time showing Geoff snapshots of his past. Geoff had a great time contemplating the possibilities of his future.
Mommy was just trying not to leak spontaneously out of her eyeballs.
The day began with a tour of the campus. Beautiful. The Vandal Preview was strategically planned for an extraordinary fall day, before the onset of ice and snow. The financial aid meeting was most reassuring. FAFSA is our new best friend. If your children are still tiny, you may not have been formally introduced to the huge stack of paperwork awaiting you and your tax return, which determines how much free money you are entitled to. We will be finding out in a few short months what the price tag will be, so we’re doing our best now to confess ALL our sins. Neither one of us has said the f-word since we got home and are in church every single time the doors open up. It can’t hurt, right?
Since Geoff is such an amazing artist, he gave serious consideration to the College of Art and Architecture. We tracked down a very generous Dr. Brian Clevely, who spent at least thirty minutes talking to the three of us about the department he heads up: Virtual Technology and Design. Geoff wants to be a virtual architect. The program was amazingly impressive and reminded us of Randy Pausch and the phenomenal work he was able to do with his virtual reality students. (YOU MUST YOUTUBE HIM! RANDY PAUSCH—THE LAST LECTURE!) Geoff didn’t stop smiling from that moment on. It was so reassuring to see our son in this element. His element.
He is so ready for this.
The university must have hidden all the students who may have been struggling or unhappy in any way because every single, solitary student we came across, whether he or she were on campus or enjoying a beverage and snack on one of the sidewalk cafes in downtown Moscow, was thrilled and delighted to be attending the U of I. We came across a delightful little group of students, rolling their own cigarettes, who recognized our potential Vandal right away. The cutie-patootie named Robin, whose dreadlocks were just starting to take off, struck up a conversation.
“So, are you thinking about coming to U of I?”
“I am,” Geoff answered.
“Are you cool?”
“I’m pretty cool.”
They laughed approvingly and lifted their glasses in welcome. It was another reassuring snapshot.
A year from this moment, Geoff will likely be venturing out on his own path. Sean-Martin will be mowing the lawn and picking up Sofie’s poop without his #1 guy, and I will be in counseling.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
A colossal part of my heart is absolutely thrilled for Geoff to have this chance—this chance that he has earned—to be in a place where he can learn and grow and become everything he was meant to be. We are so proud of him. What a gloriously delightful, intelligent, comical, artistic, talented, and kind gentleman he has already become. He deserves this. I am more than willing to push him from this nest—even though it might seem empty when he’s gone.
And, let’s face it. It’s not like it sucks to be me. I don’t know what women do who, #1 Do not like their husbands anymore and #2 Who do not know who they are apart from their mothering. I’m not saying it isn’t heart wrenching to have poured my heart out into the life of my son, only to leave him standing in his dorm room with his mini-refrigerator and X-Box 360 (he has more games than jeans, for God’s sake), knowing that he isn’t ever going to live with us again while concurrently and equally mortified if he were to ever try. I’m grateful, though, in the midst of my conflictedness, for my husband’s humor and his ever-present calming effect. My life is very full—apart from my mothering. I’m grateful, too, that Geoff is ready to fly.
After all, this is just one step closer to grandbabies, right?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Bucket List

Things I want to do, in no particular order, before I kick the bucket…

1. Front a band that does cover songs for inebriated people outdoors on warm, summer evenings
2. Find two other people to sing hymns in three-part harmony for no one but ourselves
3. Finish writing my romance novels
4. Get published
5. Become a real, bona fide motivational speaker
6. Teach college
7. Sit in a tavern with people I've never met, drinking cervezas and laughing hysterically, talking long into the night--in Spanish
8. Have dinner with Sean-Martin in several different countries
9. Go to Africa in some Bono-like capacity
10. Snuggle with my grandbabies

What's on your Bucket List?