Me, at 20: Thrilled! Finally!
My mom: Sobbing.
At 20, I had no sympathy for my mother’s tears. I wasn’t even leaving the state, and it’s not like we were close. We rarely talked. Why did she have to take everything so personally? Who says things like, “Why are you doing this to me?” when their child moves out of their house? Isn’t that the goal?
Me, married mom of two babies, moving out of state: Excited!
My mom: Crying.
Now a mom myself, inevitable or not, the thought of my babies leaving me one day gave me sympathy for my mother, but moving was an adventure that I was already loving. My mom seemed more sad about me taking her grandsons out of state than about me leaving. I was okay with that.
Me, 3 years later, moving back to hometown: Sad.
My mom: Relieved.
My father was in the end stages of cancer. We were thinking of little else. After he passed away, my mom wanted us to stay with her, in her house, permanently. We stayed for a year, househunting the whole time, eventually buying a home of our own across town. I was so happy when we finally moved. She was less happy, but she didn’t cry, at least not that I saw.
Me, 7 years later, moving 2000 miles away: Excited, but sad for my mom.
My mom: Crying.
She was very sad, but surprisingly supportive of this move, reminding us many times that she’d never liked the area where she, and we, were living. I could tell she wanted to be happy for us, even if her cheer was forced. I appreciated the effort, and for the first time, I was truly sad to say good-bye. I cried as we drove away. She never really got over it.
My 20 year old son, moving 2000 miles away: Excited!
Me: Excited for him, but crying for me.
I was truly excited for him, but I knew I was going to miss that boy something awful. I wanted to not cry in front of him, to not draw attention to my emotions, and let his move be all about him. Good intentions. Going to see Toy Story 3 the weekend before he left opened the floodgates. We both left the theater with tears streaming down our faces. Two years later, I still miss him, but I’m still happy that he is out there living his own life.
Me, on living 2000 miles away from my mother: Worried.
This is the part of moving away that I never saw coming. I’ll tell you more about it on Wednesday.