Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Crossing the country by car with my 22 year-old son was a trip I will always remember.
Every two hours we would exchange jobs and the other would drive. Having MS, I felt some trepidation before leaving on what would be five days of driving. What would it be like sitting for hours and hours? Would my stomach survive eating highway food? Would my son sleep the whole way? Or, would he venture to converse with his Mom? How could I possibly listen to his Ipod music for hours and hours?
Turns out five days is a looonnnnng time to sit in a car. From Southern Arizona to Washington, DC. After two hours, we would get out switching jobs, and the actual movement of just going from sitting to standing was a bit of a challenge. Muscles stiffen up pretty quickly, and I would find myself walking as if I just got off a horse. But, I would stretch it out and take over the wheel.
For me it was never about the destination, but about the trip. My son is starting a new chapter in his life as he enters grad school in a state 2000 miles away. We all know what happens. Angelina said it best in my novel: “Life gets in the way of living.” After grad school, he will likely pursue his PhD, then get a job (cross your fingers), then meet a lovely lady, then settle down, etc. etc. His new life will be in the D.C. Metro area. My husband, daughter and I will be flying to the East for our vacations.
This is something that had to happen. For my son to pursue this educational road and be successful in International Relations - Conflict Analysis and Resolution, there was never a question that D.C. would be the hub of that activity. After all, there are no embassies in Arizona.
This mother-son sojourn was my way of holding on to him for just a little bit longer. I kept any discomfort to myself, having vowed he would not hear me complain. After all, this was my idea. Yet, he was solicitous of me showing concern for my comfort. I love that kid! Plus, for the next three days, we had fun setting him up in his new environment.
There’s a quote from a song that always makes me tear up: “We watch them grow, just to let them go.” I’m not sure I will ever get used to it, but I’m very glad I insisted on this trip and will never regret it… even after I return home and remain horizontal for a few days. For this short while, MS will stand for My Son.