(Spoiler alert: Perhaps I’m overdramatic at times, but please don’t ever tell my husband I admit that.)
This is the welcome mat that R, my oldest son, crafted out of paper, tape and magic markers this morning, and which he neatly placed at the entrance to his bedroom. Welcome. A simple word. Such an open word. Today, I am welcome to enter my son’s room, where we will play and build and read and laugh and fix boo-boos and get rid of fears and make memories. I know that I won’t always be as welcome there, but today, I’m gleaming over this creation (and the meaning I have chosen to assign to it!).
Today is also the day he is attending his first sleepover at a friend’s house. After I bombarded the host mom with approximately 54 questions, some of which were the same question phrased differently from the first time I asked (you can never be too sure!), I let R go. I let him go.
I didn’t think it would impact me – he’s been on plenty of playdates before — but a whole night? Without me? When did he become ok with this? And his brothers miss him! D keeps asking where R is, and E is asking, “What do you think R is doing right now?” It’s as if they’ve never been separated before, when clearly they have, spending days in different grade levels, playing at different friends’ houses . . . but a whole night?
On top of this, D — my baby! — got a big-boy bed today. And I read a poignant piece on Scary Mommy about boys growing into men, which of course left me in tears. And we’re attending my baby cousin’s wedding celebration this weekend (ok, he’s an adult now, I get it. But when did that happen?). It’s a lot for this emotional mommy to take! Apparently, time really does move in just one direction, and it sure does fly. People say it all the time, but until you really try to grab that wave of water and hold it in place, only to have it slip through your fingers, you don’t really realize how fast it keeps rolling.
Today, I am welcome in R’s room, but he’s not there.
But tomorrow morning, the second he gets home, I’m barging right in there to thank him for making that welcome mat, and I’m suggesting it becomes a permanent fixture. Forever.