I am going to be going to the prom this weekend. Ok, not the prom itself; a discerning young woman gets the honor of him as date.
My son is in a long distance relationship. (He met her at band camp. Yes, insert jokes here, we do.) His girlfriend asked him to her prom…in another state. He said yes. While considering the practicalities of this, I rather offhandedly offered to drive him to the prom. He rather shockingly accepted, not seeing any issue. I thought he’d change his mind. He didn’t.
So, on Friday, I will set forth on a journey to another state with the boy.
My life is jam packed right now:
- . The 22-year-old is moving out in just under two weeks
- . A grandchild is due to be born next month, in Hawaii
- . Youngest graduates this year from middle school
- . Boy child graduates from high school
- . 22-year-old graduates from college
- . Work is well…work (When you work on the Internet, your jobs continually shift, grow, change, rather like parenting actually.)
I will skip the two middle children, though they have their own things. Add in the usual parenting, caregiving, household management, taxes, etc. I am busy. Life is crazy, expensive, uncertain, and daunting.
In the midst of this, I am taking a five hour road trip to escort my son to a prom in another state. It is the first of at least two long road trips I will take with him before he leaves for college. I’d like to roll my eyes and say “bother.” It just isn’t true. I likely am as excited about this prom date as I was for my own. Why?
I get ten-ish hours in the car with the boy–alone. Some of the time he will sleep, I’ve no doubt. Some of the time he will scowl. Boy embraces the teen attitude when it suits him. Other times though–we will talk, laugh, groan and say hi to cows.
As time flies toward this boy becoming more and more of a man child, I often think “Wait! Stop! I haven’t had enough time.”
We’ve, since before he was born, anticipated this flight from the nest and prepared him for it. We covered the basics. We share our parental values, thoughts, philosophy. We teach the practical skills. We’ve prodded toward independence, from the toddler days of teaching him to make his oatmeal and pour a bowl of cereal to the hours in the car with him learning to drive. These things we do because we want him to grow up, become a capable adult.
At the same time, my mommy heart isn’t prepared. I’m not sure how it ever will be prepared. I couldn’t be more proud of him, his growing into maturity, of the fact he really is looking toward his college years and beyond. I want these things for him.
So this weekend, I’ll be travel companion. I’ll spend some quiet time alone while he spends the day with his girlfriend and the night at the prom. I’ll treasure that quiet time–like a mommy weekend in the middle of what really is a mommy-ing weekend.
More than treasure of stepping out of my everyday, I’ll get those driving hours of undivided time with the boy. No room for him to vanish in, like some teenager’s TARDIS. No siblings to distract us. No chores for either of us. A ribbon of highway, a boy, a mom, and the ever shorter road to adulthood to navigate together.