The first day of school I was an irrational mess. By mid-afternoon I was sitting on my son’s bed, staring at the ceiling and crying because I never got him a ceiling fan. Yes. An effin’ ceiling fan had me hysterical in tears.
I kept thinking about how his entire life has been a series of first’s… the baby firsts, the first days of school, the first time he had a girlfriend, the first time he drove a car, etc… Now it feels like I am anticipating all of the last’s, everything feels like a last. The last time I go back to school shopping for him, the last time we buy school supplies, the last first day of school picture, and the last time he lives at home for all the holidays. I try so hard NOT to think this way, but it’s like an automatic reaction…. I see him at a football game and my brain says, GAH! This might be the last time I ever see him at a football game?!?!? Erp! Panic! It’s totally irrational and out of control. I have to figure out a way to stop crying over things like toaster strudels and Popular Science magazine.
You see, I had Cody when I was 19. I actually found out I was pregnant the morning that I got married. So, he has always been with me. I wonder what it was like for him to have parents that were so young and so clueless. It is no wonder that he has always acted like he is an adult and an equal partner in decision making, and also in veto’ing decisions his Dad and I make. We dideverything together…. college, first jobs after our military careers ended, our first car, our first house. When Cody was in Kindergarten and we decided to try to have another child, his teacher told me that he came to school and said, “WE have decided to have a baby!” He really believed it was a joint decision! In a way, it feels like we grew up together.
For many years I wasn’t able to give him all the things I wanted to. I remember going to the grocery store with a calculator because money was so tight. He didn’t get a lot of new things, he wore clothes from Wal-Mart and we didn’t get to go on vacations. Life has been very different for his sister. By the time she was born we were financially stable, and she has never had to live through the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. I have a lot of guilt for this.
I feel like we owe him a lot, everything we have now we built together. We were motivated to be more because of him. Our determination was because of the life we wanted to give him. We couldn’t have moved for my husband’s career if Cody had not been so willing. When we moved to Minnesota four years ago it was because my dear friend Stacey had leukemia. I remember sitting in a restaurant trying to tout all the great things MinnesOta had to offer. Cody was settled in South Carolina, he had good friends and I am sure the idea of moving during Middle School was terrifying. He really wasn’t pumped about Minnesota weather. But, when I looked at him and said, “I need to do this, I need to be near Stacey”, he agreed. He could have given us a hard time throughout the move, but he never once complained.
It is with great sadness that I experience all these last’s with him. I want to cling so tightly to every moment we have together and to every word that he says to me. But, I will send him out into the bigscary world with confidence. Because I am so proud of the person he is becoming. He is one of the smartest and funniest people I have ever known. I am sincerely excited to see what he does with his life.
I wish that I could have given him more, but maybe he is the person he is because of the life I didgive him. If that is true, then I wouldn’t change a thing.