Last month, during the full moon, I got a call from a very emotional Reeve. Exhausted, sad, homesick, frustrated with his performance at school. Not sure what to do with himself during the upcoming three-week break between school terms. (He’d arranged to spend several days with two of his classmates at one of their homes in England, but didn’t know about the remaining two weeks.)
It was late, and I was still at work, trying to finish things up so I could go home, and I was emotional myself—aching for him but feeling that he really just needed to stop thinking and get some sleep.
Consequently, I was kind of short with him, listening for only a couple of minutes before saying bluntly, “So [rather than go out on an exotic adventure like all of us back home wish WE could] why don’t you just come on home for the break?”
He rallied somewhat. “That would be pitiful, Mom.”
We hung up, and I sat in the dark office and sobbed. Wishing Reeve could be happy where he was, wishing he could summon the oomph to claim this opportunity and make his upcoming spring break something he’d remember fondly. Missing him and wishing he would come home, then immediately feeling guilty for the thought.
The next day, he called to tell us he had found “hella deals” ($20!) on airline tickets! And was going to spend the last ten days of his break in Sardinia!
Sardinia? I had to look it up. (As our friend Seth put it later: “Sardinia? Is that a planet?”) (For the record, Sardinia is a large island off the coast of Italy. And, no, the people who live there are not called Sardines.)
I was thrilled, of course. And proud of Reeve for taking charge and pulling out of a potential emotional tailspin. And very, very nervous about him traveling alone in a country where he barely speaks the language.
These ups and downs. I don’t think the parenting books talk about how the emotional highs and lows (and the quick swing from one to the other!) of parenting continue even after a child is officially an adult. Or maybe they do, and I just wasn’t paying attention.
Above: Reeve kicking back on the shores of the Mediterranean. (Photo by Reeve Taylor)