Friday, June 29, 2012


Today, my oldest son is leaving home, 
to attend junior college in Phoenix, 
900 miles away from Denver.  
I will drive halfway, 
or maybe a little farther, in my car, 
and then I will turn around, 
and he and his roommate will drive on.

And while I am thrilled for him, 
I am so, so sad.
I am sad for me
because I will miss that guy--
the sticky floor by the refrigerator 
when he slurped juice from the carton,
the "oops" holes in walls,
that crooked, gap-toothed smile,
the "uh-huh" when I ask
"Do you know how much
your mama loves you?"

More, though, I am sad 
for my younger son.
I adopted my boys from foster care 
when they were seven and nine.

For years, all they had was each other.

And they have been 
best friends,
I cannot imagine one of them 
without the other. 

My younger son 
is without words
he has been 
in his bedroom
with the door shut
since six o'clock last night
refuses to ride along 
even though I would love 
the companionship
will probably not 
say goodbye
to his brother.

And yes, I know growing up 
and moving on is a natural part of life, 
and I know we will get through it, 
but today
I am so, so sad.

"To a Daughter Leaving Home"
by Linda Pastan

… I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving

Read the rest of the poem here.

Poetry Friday is at Paper Tigers.


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

They never really leave, Carol - although I know exactly what you mean about feeling so sad you even miss that puddle of juice by the fridge, the one that always drove you crazy before. Pastan's poem used to make me cry when my eldest first left home ... but that was many years ago, and many returns and reunions later, I just feel its sweetness now. Loving our kids is like that.

Mary Lee said...

Tears. For you, and for younger son.

For older son, growing smaller in the distance--laughter, and learning, and the wisdom to look back...

jama said...

((HUGS)) to you and your younger son.

Michelle said...

A day full of mixed emotions. Another chapter is beginning . . . find the joy and celebrate! Hugs!

Marjorie said...

Oh, Carol. Lots of love and hugs to you. It's always harder for those left behind in the pastures old - but then they will become pastures new for you and your younger son too.

Betsy Hubbard said...

Oh, such a hard transition for you all. It is so confusing to be happy and sad at the same time.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Sending you mom-hugs, Carol. And all best wishes as you all make this family transition.

Linda B said...

My son was gone many summers to camp, so when it was time for college, I though I'd be okay, but when we left him, & drove home (about 12 hours), I cried much of the way. He moved with his family last year (he's 40 now) & I cried again. I understand, & it doesn't get easier, but we still want them to break away to make their own lives. Hard on mothers, though. Like Tara, I too love that Pastan poem. I've given it to friends whose time to say goodbye to their children. Thanks for sharing your tough moments, Carol. Thinking of you!

Laura Lynn Benson said...

Sweet, sweet mama-friend...You give your boys all hope, all love...We are all richer for having YOU in our lives xoxoxo