A Large Envelope Makes Me Sad

The #1 son is amused by something on his iMac.

The #1 son is amused by something on our iMac. (Nikon D300, Nikon 17-55mm lens)

The #1 son got a large, somewhat-heavy envelope in the mail yesterday. It probably was no big deal to those who sorted it and sent it on its merry way from San Antonio to our mailbox in the Houston area. After all, they didn’t know that they actually were handling my son’s immediate future.

Yep, my senior son got his acceptance letter to the University of Texas at San Antonio for the fall of 2010. It’s the only college he plans to apply to; it’s his safety and match school. The envelope brings the world to him and him to the world. His post-high school plans instantly became more concrete in the time it took to open it. College was an abstract ideal for 17 years; now suddenly it’s a reality that’s less than a year away.

I’m not sure why I feel surprised and suddenly blindsided. After all, when #1 finally left the safety of holding onto my legs for the first time and wobbled across the living room at 11 months old, I noticed that he was walking away from me. And I immediately felt sad and a tiny bit abandoned.

#1 at three months

#1 at three months

But I’m okay with the realization that one large envelope means my son is about to start a new chapter in his life, one that means he’ll be standing firmly on his own two feet away from home. And away from me. Really, it’s not like I sat with the acceptance letter in my hand and reminisced about his baby chubby legs, arms, and cheeks and his toothless smile. No, not me.

#1 keeps score during a recent disc golf tournament. (Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm lens)

#1 keeps score during a recent disc golf tournament. (Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm lens)

And it’s not like I wondered what I was going to do without being able to look into his beautiful blue eyes almost any time I wanted to and chuckle about how he practically lives with his headphones on his ears. All the better to tune in the music on his iPod Touch and tune us out.

I’m going to miss those darned headphones when he’s in San Antonio.  And trying to make him smile when I take his photo.

Who can resist #1’s baby blues? (Nikon D300, Nikon 50mm lens)

Who can resist #1’s baby blues? (Nikon D300, Nikon 50mm lens)

And those eyes? I actually might miss those the most.

Congratulations, my precious #1 son. And thanks for making me cry this morning.

9 responses to “A Large Envelope Makes Me Sad

  1. Sniff, sniff. I got a bit teary eyed too remembering similar experiences.

  2. Oh, and YOU are making ME cry……Allison will be my LAST one to leave the nest…….sigh…..I understand.

    Suzanne

  3. Well said. As a self-proclaimed expert in this area (that would be, Empty Nest, USA) I offer the following: send him off with a webcam, so you can not only chat with him, but also see those baby blues whenever you need to. (It is also how you tell if they are lying about anything.)
    Susan

    • Susan, I will bow to your expertise! A webcam is a great idea! Fortunately, he’ll have a MacBook, which has a built-in webcam, and I can communicate with him either with my MacBook or my iMac. Good to know that I’ll be able to get my blue-eyes fix even though he’ll be three hours away.

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  5. Oh, can I relate. Thanks for linking me to this post. Isn’t it funny we both wrote about the large envelope? It was fun to meet you and your son through your blog, which I really enjoy. You’ve got another fan!
    We’ll cry on each other’s shoulders come fall.
    Trish

    • Yes, we will! We’re happy for our high school seniors as they start their college journeys while we’re sad for us that they’re leaving us behind.

      I really enjoy your blog, too, Trish! I don’t know how you have time to keep up with it . . . but I’m glad that you do!

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