Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Extra Five Hours

In five hours, I can watch two movies.
In five hours, I can eat both breakfast and lunch.
I can work, take a bath, weed my garden and write 5,000 words if my muse cooperates.

Five hours over the course of a week is a mere inconvenience.
Five hours over one month is a drop in the bucket.
Over the span of a year, this chunk of time barely exists.

But to moms who say goodbye to their college age children, Five Hours is a lifetime.

Last week, I dropped my only daughter off at college. Granted she's my second kid and Eldest--a son--has attended college for two years already, but he's only 45 minutes away. Dear Daughter is that plus five hours.

I can handle 45 minutes.

"Mom, I forgot my winter jacket."
"Mom, my new contacts are in, can you bring them?"
"Mom, I'm home." Just because he can.

Five extra hours makes all those things feel easy. As if I've taken them for granted.
Five extra hours means months in between each visit.
Five extra hours means I can't be there for the little things.
It means getting there for the big things will take monumental efforts and way too much time.

Oh, how I hate those extra 300 minutes that stand between me and my daughter.

Curse you, Time.
Curse you, Distance.
Curse the easy mobility of our society and the opportunities that tempt our children away from us.

If you can't tell, I'm terrible at letting go.
I love hard and fast and loyally.
I've spent my entire life doing right by my kids.

All I can do now is pray that I've done enough.

I love you, Connor and Lexi.
I love you for your spirit and independence and motivation to get out there and make an impact on this world.
I love you for being you and miss you both like crazy.

Hugs to all the parents sharing my boat where seconds turn to minutes and minutes to hours as we feel the distance between us and our children with an almost physical pain.