Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flying the coop

My baby is leaving me. Plain and simple, he's going. I get it and it's a natural trajectory of healthy behavior, but still. He is vacating. Loren will be moving to Denver this Friday because he should. He's 18 and ready to go.

So far I've been incredibly cool about the whole thing, thinking I'd break down sometime after we'd dropped him off and were heading west over the passes. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours in Target banging out a list of Must Haves. Things like a coffee maker, laundry hamper, hangers, etc. We visually went through every room and tried to gather as much as possible so he will have all his creature comforts when he looks out over the LoDO skyline from his new abode. His excitement was palpable as he chose a color theme for his bathroom and just the right trashcan for his room. I loved every moment of it as I pictured Lo in his new life with so much Wonder ahead of him.

Tonight while I was working and listening to Pandora, one of his favorite songs came on and out of nowhere I lost it; tears on my keyboard and the knowledge that my ribs would not be able to contain my breaking heart.  Loren is the one person in the world whose soul I fully understand. He is my first, the one whose splitting cells began this whole adventure. I carried his undeveloped nubs, brought him into the world, nursed him, took him to the park, experienced all those Firsts with him and now this is the Ultimate First. He is going and I want to curl up and die just a little bit about it.

I can't be cool about this. There is no nonchalance. It will never be the same because this is real and while I am so happy for this Beginning, I am also grieving the End.


  1. Every little bit of me aches with you. My first flew, settled back into the nest {temporarily} as she prepares for her wedding....two months. I never know when it's going to hit me...comes bubbling out at the oddest times. We've got to grieve without them...which I think is part of what hits the hardest. Their beginning is what's important now... the rest will work itself out of us. Thanks for sharing.
    Here's a link to one of the first poems I wrote on my blog...same subject!

  2. Oh, I don't even want to imagine what this will be like when it happens in a few years. I totally get that there is some kind of celestial understanding between a mother and her oldest -- the result of the first few years when it was just the two of you most of the time.
    I read in a Barbara Kingsolver book (can't remember which one) a quote about the fact that when kids feel comfortable flying the coop you have done a good job instilling confidence and independence. Just for the record, I hope mine don't fly too far away.
    Good luck!

  3. Dangit, now I am crying - I just sent my boys off to school, and for the first time in 8 years, I will be alone during the day. I am hald sad and half excited. I can't imagine either of them leaving for good EVER - like, sure your wife and kids can move in EVER - lol.

    PS - yeah, you can leave blogger anytime ;)

  4. Oh my gosh, I so completely understand. Those first children — they often experience the rollercoasters of life with us more than their siblings that come after them, and oh, I know exactly what you mean about that special connection. My oldest boy will be 18 this December, and I can still look at him and see him as my little guy like it was yesterday. How can you describe that depth of love and pride you feel when you realize that your kid turned out awesome despite those bumps in the road (and being your parenting guinea pig)? In any case, hang in there and feel the hugs from those of us who know just what you're going through.

  5. I'm in the process of reading a book about death and dying. Your "rite of passage" experience with Loren really seems to connect with all those known stages of grief. Chances are the process will have you oscillating between anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance for some time.

  6. Oh wow. I'm not looking forward to this at all.

  7. Oh boy. This seems like it is centuries away for me, and yet I'm sure I will blink that THAT day will be here.

    I wish you (and Loren) the best!