Sunday, June 8, 2014

Letting Go #3

Today I dropped him at the airport to fly off to Israel, which requires a whole new level of letting go.  I remembered the first time I experienced this as he rode off on horseback on a Mexican vacation; in fact, I blogged about it in 2009 on the occasion of another letting go moment:
"Let him go, let him go, let him go.
Physically, I did.  Mentally, not so much.
Just before midnight, Diver joined a crowd of other teens waiting to board a bus at a satellite YMCA site in the city.  
Bye!  Have fun!
Not even a backward glance.  We'd already had our talk about the right way to behave, not getting drunk on sugar and pop, who to turn to for help. 
I remembered the first time I waved him off alone.  We were on Stone Island in Mexico, and he went horseback riding with a group.  I don't ride.  I grimace and worry, so I waved him off through gritted teeth and angst'd for the next hour.
Which is pretty much what I did last night.  Nine hours have passed and I am so tempted to call the youth leader on her cell.
Then I remember all the things he has successfully navigated.  Snorkeling, scuba diving, diving boards, flying, skiing, customs, bar mitzvah parties; things I could never do, not just alone, but ever.
So he can do this trip.  Even if the phone rings right now, with the cry  "Help.  Come get me!"; calls I used to get a lot, he's already succeeded.  He got on the bus alone last night and journeyed to an unknown world.  He'll come back stronger and more confident.
Maybe I will, too. "

I'm glad I revisited this, because it's the same thing: letting go.  So he can do this trip.  He's journeying to an unknown world, and he'll come back stronger and more confident. I believe I will, too.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Graduation Day

The tears flowed like rain and I cleaned up cat vomit.

That's what I do. That's what any special-needs mom does.
We'd gone to graduation #1 this morning at the special school my son actually attends and it was lovely.  Every graduation should be so thoughtful, personal and affectionate.  After the ceremony, the 18-year-old formerly known as Diver (honestly, I need a glyph like Prince) and his Dad went to Target and then to see Bubby.

I went to the gym and began to cry in the pool.  Because I had worked so hard for so many years for this day; and typical of any day during the last 18 years, I'd had to bend over backward to take care of things. And really nobody knew - nobody but another special-needs mom.  And on the spectrum of special needs parenting, I'm one of the lucky ones; still, today, after the last week of high-wire tension about the graduations and volunteer duties and work and preparations for glyph's leaving the country on Sunday and my back injury - and the broken phone and the cat vomit, I wept.

Then I came home and cleaned up the mess.  I had picked up and discarded the actual hair balls and left the spots covered with Borax for the last 48 hours but could leave it no longer. So carefully lowering myself to my knees (oh, that sore back!), I got down on the carpet and scrubbed.  And vacuumed.  And wept crocodile tears.