He Didn’t Ask Me If I Was Done Wanting Him To Call Me Mama

sad son going to college
He didn’t ask me if I was ready.

He should’ve, right?

He didn’t ask if I was ready for him to be done calling me “Mama.” One day, that word, the sweetest word in the English language, was just gone. Erased from his little kindergartner vocabulary.

He didn’t ask if I was ready for him to give up Halloween in 5th grade. If he had, I would’ve taken notes. I would’ve gotten extra pictures of him in his zombie costume the year before. What kid just gives up Halloween cold-turkey?

He certainly didn’t ask if I was ready for him to go to college. The ACT came and went, the college letters started flooding our mailbox, and scholarship offers were made. Good grief, last I checked he didn’t even know if he WANTED to go to college.

His whole first semester of his senior year of high school, he was stressed about not knowing what he wanted to do. What major he would declare. Where he would live. Truth be told, he had stressed about it for 4 years since the beginning of high school.

Over Christmas break, we told him if he wanted, he could take a year off. Travel or work for a year. Figure things out. A few days later, he was setting up a college visit at one of our local colleges.

Again I ask where the world the candy-coated “Mama” disappeared to. That was a quick turnaround.

On the day of his college tour, I asked him if we could come along. He seemed relieved and said so.

It was the school I attended. The campus was different than I remembered. New buildings. New professors. A new generation of dreams.

We toured the e-sports facility.

My son, the one who started playing Speed Racer on his dad’s old PlayStation at the tender age of 2, the one who would as a child preferred to be inside gaming rather than outside running around, the one who put hundreds of hours into this weird RC car/soccer game (a little game called Rocket League) for the last 2 years, would be offered a scholarship to play on the varsity e-sports team.

Seriously? For playing a video game?

Come to find out that it is a highly skilled, highly competitive, up-and-coming game and my son is good. Really good.

I guess all that gaming paid off.

Still, I want to grab his man-sized hand and hold on a little longer. Go back in time and feel him grip my pinky as we cross the street. Run into my arms at every scraped knee or bee sting. I still sniff his curly-haired head every time I hug him.

I still bring him a glass of milk.

I still remind him to take his hat and gloves on our zero degree days.

It turns out, mom habits are nearly unbreakable. I thought my mom was just over-protective. Nope, turns out, she is and will forever be mom even though her kids are grown.

Mine are nearly there, too.

I will try to be strong as my son heads off to college.

I just wish he would’ve asked first.

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