Disappearing at the Corner of Riverside and McKinley

There is something terribly uncool about standing on a busy corner of a college campus street with your mom. Especially if you’re the mom.

This morning, Logan and I went to visit Ball State University, which he is planning to attend in the fall. Our drive there was great. Like usual, we chatted like friends and made one another laugh. We stopped for snacks. It was practically a Spring Break road trip. During the admissions information meeting we traded snarky messages and nodded approvingly together. We went on a tour with other prospective students/parents and saw the newer, really clean, pricy, air-conditioned, pricy dorm.

We broke off from the tour group to go to a meeting with a department head. I found myself walking with the cool guy on a college campus. I felt 19 again. I felt excited by the atmosphere, and by the tradition and history of the school. Until we got to the corner of Riverside and McKinley. Standing there in a throng of much younger, thinner girls with younger, thinner boobs, wearing younger, thinner jeans, my 19 year old self was gone and 45 year old me remained. I carried a purse, for Christssake. It was way obvious that I was Somebody’s Mom.

I looked at Logan, who was completely unaware of my discomfort, and suddenly he was one of Them. I felt an enormous divide that I hadn’t felt before. I no longer fit into his world, and I wanted to disappear into thin air, for not only my sake, but for his. This was going to be his world, not mine. I had no business being there, and that was okay. In fact, it was right.

I love this boy so much, and my excitement toward campus life became excitement for his campus life. I realized in those moments that I am happy for him to begin this life that is solely his.

I have a summer left with him, although he will spend most of it being with friends, traveling to music festivals where he will camp and do things I will not ask about, and packing up all the stuff from this life that he wants to take into the next one. I am trying not to think of the day I move him into a tiny room and leave him forever, but it will come too soon.

It has all come much too soon.

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