September 1. Another school year has begun. My grandchildren start next week and I know their mama is going to shed a little tear or two. I know because I’ve weathered that emptiness before. I remember helping our oldest son settle into his new home as a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. My husband and I were driving back to San Antonio, and I couldn’t keep from crying as I thought about how much I was going to miss him.
“How about stopping at the outlet stores in San Marcos,” my husband asked. “If I buy you a new outfit, will that help?”
“Well,” I said, my voice quavering, “maybe it might make me feel a teensy bit better.
As soon as we arrived home, I called my friend Linda who had just taken her son to the University of New Hampshire. “How many boxes of tissue did you go through on the drive home?” I asked.
“Oh, only one,” she replied. “The tears stopped as soon as we reached the outlet stores in Kittery, Maine.”
For all of you teary-eyed moms out there who have just sent your babies off to college, or for those of you who are dreading when that day comes, I wanted to leave you with a song I wrote years ago when my youngest child left home to join his brother in Austin. Since we are a family of musicians (my husband plays the radio), I thought it was appropriate to write a song in “honor” of them and our parting. I’d sing it for you, accompanying myself on my baritone ukelele, but I haven’t mastered the YouTube thing yet, so you’ll have to be satisfied with the words.
Don’t think I sit at home and cry without you,
There’s plenty more to life than being your mom.
I hardly think about you up in Austin,
Or did I hear you say you’re going to Guam?
Don’t think you left my heartstrings raw and bleeding.
These tears are for the joy of being free.
In fact don’t call or write, I’m much too busy
Figuring out my new identity.
Don’t think of coming home except to visit,
I’ve rented out your room for pocket change.
The man who’s living there reads Shakespeare naked.
Now don’t you think that’s just a little strange?
Now if you think I’m just a tad hard on you,
Remember I’m your mom who loves you so.
And should you choose to come by for a visit,
Be careful, ’cause I may not let you go.
I’m still missing you, my Treasures!