Bruce Springsteen never put into words more eloquently how I feel tonight than when he wrote one of his best songs ever on his 1987 release Tunnel of Love. "Walk Like A Man" holds so incredibly much meaning for me at this moment tonight, particularly the following line:
"Well now the years have gone and I've grown from that seed you've sown
But I didn't think there'd be so many steps I'd have to learn on my own"
Tonight my six year old seed went off on his fist official sleep over at his best friend's house. I dropped Buddy off at 6:00PM, and I'll be picking him up at 2:15PM tomorrow. Twenty of the longest hours of my life have commenced. It's going to be odd just tucking in one child tonight, kissing only one child goodnight and being awakened in the morning by just one little munchkin climbing in our bed to "cock-a-doodle-doo" husband & me bright and early tomorrow morning. Odd how you never notice (or appreciate) the little things in your life's routine until something changes.
We work SO hard to teach them the "do's" and the "don'ts" then hope and pray that they get it all right. We want to give them the skills they need to stand on their own two feet, no matter how little those feet are, to learn to be independent people. But when the time comes to let them test their wings, and taste a bit of freedom, we automatically want to hold back and squeeze them tight, never letting go. Somehow, from somewhere deep inside of me, I mustered the strength to give him a quick kiss and a hug and let him go off to enjoy his new experience.
Well, Buddy, Mama is very proud of you and loves that you're growing up to be a great kid. But could you just do it a little slower? Mama can't handle the heartbreak!