Susan's Blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Strange and Mournful Day

If you wanted the moon, I would try to make a start.
–To Sir, With Love

Here is a column I wrote dealing with Nat’s move, for the Washington Post/Newsweek site called “On Faith.” This piece is a small nugget explaining one particular moment of dealing with this transition of ours.

I have had an especially difficult day today, because I had a bad feeling all day about my Sweet Guy. And when I called him at 4:30, he immediately said, “Go to _____Street, NOW. Go to _____ Street, NOW.” Meaning, home. My heart seized and I bit back tears. I also couldn’t help but think, such great, unprompted language!

“Nat, I know. Nat you are sad right now. But you will be happy soon. It’s going to be alright. I am coming to your class tomorrow, for a visit.”

Then he said — and I still can’t believe this — “I love you. Love you.” And he hung up.

Tomorrow, I’ll be there with chocolate and Disney videos. And maybe the moon.


I’d be curious to know how long it takes most of our kids to adjust to a permanent change in living environments. I suppose there is no concrete answer since every person is so individual. I personally think keeping the connection open between you daily is wise for a while…even though the school might say differently. Go with your gut. You are his Mom and know him best… try to be strong, and trust that your love for each other will heal all of this in time. I’m seeing myself in you 10 years down the road. By sharing this experience you are no doubt helping a lot of us, I’m sure. Bless you, and smile even if it hurts.

— added by Candy on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Thanks, Candy. Thank you.

I should have told him sooner. I am up at 2 a.m. right now, with that thought. I wish I prepared him better.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 2:13 am

It takes me several years (5 or so) to get used to living somewhere else (6 months or so to get through the very worst first bit). And that’s if I was prepared and initiated the move. What’s even worse is knowing it’s not permanent and that I’ll probably have to move again before I can get halfway used to this situation.

— added by Norah on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 3:50 am

You prepared him the best way you knew how. This is uncharted territory for you and for Nat. Nobody knew how he would handle it until it actually happened. Don’t mentally flog yourself with woulda/coulda/shoulda.

Keeping you in my prayers.

— added by ASDmomNC on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 7:43 am

So sad….

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 9:00 am

I agree with the uncharted territory. You all have been dealing with uncharted waters the whole time and made it through. This will be no different.

— added by Someone Said on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 10:20 am

I hope Nat can feel how many of us are pulling for him! Thanks so much for sharing.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

I think he will make it, too. I am sending good hopes and wishes and prayers his and your way. This is a hard thing, but what I have always said with Charlie is that we never know what he is capable of doing until we give him the chance to try it. Some things take longer than others.

— added by Momtosix on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 11:05 am

This is a process that will take time, and I think it’s wonderful that you siezed on the positive aspects of your conversation with Nat. Everyone will need bolstering along the way. Stay positive – this is enlarging Nat’s life, and challenging him in ways that result in spontaneous speech. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

I used to call my mom 5 timed a day every day when I was first at college. it was awful-I begged to go home-and thank GOD she was firm but kind. I got through it, and later thrived. yes nat is nat, but he is going through what a lot of us go through-growing up. It hurts, it sucks, we want to be children and safe forever but we can’t. I feel for you-it must be o hard as a mom-my dad later told me that my mom did not sleep for a year when I first left. Some birds fly out of the nest, and some have to be pushed, left to struggle on the ground until they can fly, but they all have to leave.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

babysteps. you will get there. he will get there. one foot in front of the other. one step at a time.

sometimes it happens slowly, but it happens.

keep the faith. we are all wishing you the best.

— added by jesswilson on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm

As they say, a parent’s job is to give “roots and wings.” And that’s exactly what you have done. Thinking of all of you. — Cathy in CT

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm

My son moved into a home 3 weeks ago, so i understand the emotions and am still fighting back the tears.
I dont think any amount of prepartion is enough for them or us.

— added by Casdok on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 2:31 am

I still remember the day I dropped my son off at school{u of Penn}. I watched him walk away all ALONE and I cried all the way home. The unknown is so frightening…will he be happy, will he make friends….then the very sad phone calls. It is still vivid in my mind. BUT, how could he grow up if I kept him with me and grow up he did.
Hang in there.The hardest thing to do is to let go.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 12:54 pm

OK, I've checked back here at least 10 times today to see if you've written about yesterday. And just this last time did I really read the title- from Mother & Child Reunion. Oh, you're tugging at my heartstrings.

— added by gretchen on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 1:32 pm