Being a Mom is the most wonderful of all blessings, and one of the hardest when your “little one” is not so little anymore and not even living in the same town. I have new-found respect for what my Mom must have gone through when I was 19 and far away in college. Back then, the only phone was in the hallway of the dorm, shared by every girl on the floor. How did Mom stand the lack of contact? Was it a good thing to be blissfully unaware and hopeful that all was well? I can be in touch with my son via text, cell phone or Facebook messaging instantaneously. I get to have a peek inside his college life as his friends tag him in pictures and posts. A comfort to me, maybe not so much for him.
This week is finals week for many college students. My son, being a music major has finals, but also juries–solo performances in front of the entire woodwind faculty of the college. He is in both the saxophone and oboe studios, so is required to present a piece demonstrating his skills for each. Much of the time spent in lessons for oboe and sax each semester are devoted to polishing the literature he and his teachers have selected. Many of the hours of practice time are spent going over and over and over the pieces–practicing until they become a part of him.
And then, at 3am the morning of the juries, he wakes up with a horrible earache. Imagine having a test that requires controlled and forceful breathing with your ear plugged and screaming at you. Not good. Not good a all. Here comes the long distance Mom part. He posted his frustration with the situation on Facebook, allowing me to know as soon as I opened Facebook this morning. All ready, many of his friends had advised he go see a doctor. I did as well, also asking to be kept in the loop of what came of the doctor visit. Seems all too easy and matter of fact as I write this, but my Mom worries kicked in. A monstrous desire to be able to instantaneously transport myself to him to give him a hug, wrap him in blankets and make chicken soup. Who doesn’t want their Mom to come take care of them during times of sickness?!
He’s 5 hours away, so I had to settle for texting as he filled out forms in the waiting room of the clinic. A quick diagnosis resulted in prescribed antibiotics, and he was sent on his merry way to determine (with input from his instructors) on whether juries are a go or not. I still haven’t heard how that will shake out. I feel fortunate that he is someone who is very good at taking care of and advocating for himself. It helps me worry a bit less. He also has a great network of caring friends; people I know will help him with whatever he needs–possibly even bringing him chicken soup.
When will the desire to rush in and make things “all better” end? According to other Moms I’ve talked to, never. It’s been a long, long time since a kiss was able to fix a boo-boo. My little boy is a man who is quite capable of taking care of himself. I’ll always be his Mom, though, and can’t wait for him to drive those 5 hours to be home this weekend so I can take care of him PROPERLY. Off to the store I go to get the ingredients for chicken noodle soup–it’s better than sitting here worrying and waiting for the next text or Facebook update.
He’ll be fine and things will work out as they should. How many times have I heard those words in my Mom’s voice?! All those years of what I took as patronizing, turn out to be the best you can do when you’re long distance Mom-ing.