By Ellen McGilloway
Today is the day that brings such strange feelings.
Today is the day my baby heads off to his last semester of college.
Today is the day I wonder if, when he graduates, will he come home or will he find a great job and get his own place?
Today is the day I am conflicted. Yes, I DO want him to get a great job and find a nice place to live, but I would love to have him home with me for just a bit longer.
Today is the day I look back and remember taking my boys to their sports, trying to be in two places at the same time, never wanting to leave them.
Today I'm thinking about all the meals we had, just the three of us, because their father was working long hours so I could stay home with the kids.
Today I'm thinking about how much I loved having a pile of shoes at the front door, glad that their friends picked our home to hang out at. Thinking about our nightly routine of heading upstairs for a bath, putting on their cute PJs, snuggling for story time and good night songs. Saying our prayers and thanking God for all we have, their little arms around me as they hugged me and gave me a great big kiss. Being so filled with love and never thinking it would ever end.
But here I am, sending my baby off for his last semester of college. I know my boys will be back, but now, it will just be for visits.
Today is the day I remember all of my boys' favorites. Knowing every little thing about them. Today is the day that all changes. I won’t know all the little things about them – like what they had for breakfast, what clothes they wore for the day, or if they remembered to wear gloves and a hat when it’s cold.
Today is the day I see a chapter ending and a whole new chapter beginning.
Saying goodbye to my children is a very difficult thing for me. Yes, I am happy they are happy. But letting them go has changed me. One minute I smile, filled with pride when I think about the great young men they have turned into, and the next minute I'm crying, missing our time together.
Motherhood has defined me in a way I never knew it would. I am more than proud to be Mommy, (which changed as my kids grew to Mom and Maaaaaa).
Remember, my sons, there is no one I would rather be than your mom. I wish you a lifetime of happiness. Come home often, and give me a great big hug and kiss.
Ellen McGilloway is a New York girl living on the Jersey Shore. She's a mom of two grown children whom she loves very much.