Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Miss the Road While on the Ride.

I waited so long before this post because I thought I was waiting for some epiphany or something so profound to pop in my mind that I would be compelled to check in with my blog. Obviously that didn't happen. The something profound part happened. Actually several profound moments have happened since I last wrote, but the "being" compelled part; didn't quite catch up with me.

I will tackle this backwards since most of you know Jordan is gone. Out of sight, but by far not out of mind. It actually took a week for my mind to catch up with itself, and honestly I don't think it is quite there yet. The last several months have been a whirlwind of bliss.

Immediately following Jordan's San Jose going away party we went to Costa Rica. Just the two of us. It was nice. We took in the country with the perfect amount of adventure and relaxation. From zip lining through the rain forest to swimming along a tree lined coast. There was even a day we went to sleep about 7pm only to stay up flipping between movies with and without subtitles. I was so determined to get him out of the country before he started to college and after careful consideration we landed in Costa Rica, the "Rich Coast". We learned about living fences, rice is a major crop, Hyundai is the most popular car, and in one day you can watch the sunrise on one coast and the sunset on the other. We stayed in an amazing hotel that made us feel as though we were palace heirs. I swear it seemed we were the only guests. We had a blast.

I really mastered being present over these last couple of months, determined to take in every moment with Jordan. For so long when he was younger my mind would take a ride of its own and miss the road in front of it. My dad and I talked about this the other day. You know when you can drive all the way home and have no idea how you got there. You can't recall the road that was in front of you. Most of the time this can happens when on a cell phone (with headset of of course- for my California folks). My main objective was to not miss the road in front of me. The pace of Costa Rica helped usher me into achievement.

When we got home it was only 3 weeks until D-Day. It seems as though it took forever for my child to pack. I tried to play the perfect balance of guiding and letting him make his own decisions. It only drove me partially crazy.

The weekend I dropped him of at school was very surreal. We drove around the campus just exploring. We were both dog tired from the red eye. I usually fall asleep immediately on flights, but not this time. I think I may have been too excited. We had breakfast at Pamela's then made it back to the hotel and crashed for 4 hours, only to get up and go eat at Primanti Bros. for dinner. I was stuffed. The next day, since we bought NOTHING at home, we shopped shopped and shopped some more for all the nick knacks and do dads you need for your college dorm. We spent hours. It was so much fun and thank God Target and Bed Bath and Beyond were within a block of each other, especially when he...OK we decided the trash can at BB&B was better then the one from target and it was half the cost. That was so funny. One of the major highlights of the day was dinner. He met up with a few friends he met on Facebook and then along came parents. Joe Mama's was the perfect place for dinner and it was probably a good thing they put us in the basement. The kids we louder then loud. I guess that happens when you get a bunch of actors together. They were on one side of a long table getting acquainted in the most animated way as the parents had therapy over pasta and pizza at the other end. It was such a great experience. Around 9:30 the kids left to explore the campus while the parents stayed and talked speculating what tomorrow will be like. We kept saying we had to leave. We inched our way to the main floor, we stood there talking , finally we inched our way outside and continued our conversations. We were so happy to find others who were experiencing exactly the same thing at the same time. Almost like a security blanket of new friends. Jordan met me back at the hotel and we got in the car to go pick up my dad. I had reinforcements flying in.

The big day. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach not knowing what to expect. I kept wondering when the bomb would drop and tears would come flooding out of my face. I swallowed the lump in my throat. We took our time getting dressed and skipped breakfast because we started a little behind schedule. It was as if every movement was in slow motion. We drove 2 min to the campus and followed the signs that ushered the many cars into the appropriate line that led to the appropriate dorm. I student in a red shirt pointed us in the direction where we were to park. "Stop at the balloons" along the curb in front of the dorm while we unloaded the car the student helpers took the items faster than we could put them down. Jordan walked across the way to grab his id/room key I followed him and my dad stayed with the car. It all happened so fast. The next thing I know I was standing at the car, no Jordan, no bags, no boxes and my reinforcement had been whisked away to help load the dorm room. I barely heard the man give me directions to the parking lot.

As I drove to the lot and made my way back to the dorm I was alone and it was quite. "This is it" I thought to myself. Wow! By the time I got back to the dorm they were heading out. Jordan took me in for a quick look through, because we had to go the the student union for orientation packets, the boxes we had shipped and maybe food. My brain raced one hundred miles an hour. Does he have enough stuff? Did we remember this, did we remember that? Did I put enough money in his spending account? At this point my father begins to tell me I need to eat. I think he saw me swaying like I had vertigo. He was my voice of reason for the day. Making sure I kept my head on straight. Every where we went someone was saying "Are you Jordan?" Facebook, boy! The Theatre school orientation calmed my mind. He is going to be well taken care of.

We made another Target/BB&B run and stopped for dinner, before the drop. I can't even remember the place we ate, but it was good and we had a great dinner. The three of us reflected about the day and expressed our excitement about the future. I went to the restroom and just stood there looking at myself in the mirror. "This is it, wow" I just took a moment to take it all in. It also gave my dad some time to have a man to man talk.

Its about 6:30. The campus has calmed down from earlier the balloons are beginning to deflate and the street is quiet. I only see two families saying their good-byes. The mothers' faces are red and tears are streaming. I step out and have my dad snap a photo or two. He then steps back and sits in the car. Jordan and I stand there looking at each other, smiling. "This is it". I hug him a couple more times, just to take in the moment. And before I can give him my speech I rehearsed multiple times in my head he speaks. "Mother I challenge you to find yourself without me. This is a time when the lives of parents and kids are parallel. We each are setting out to find ourselves. This is good." All I good say is "You are absolutely right, I will. I want you to know I love you. No matter what mistakes you make, because you will make some. And you know how much I love you, but God loves you tenfold, beyond what you can ever imagine... Okay" dad says his good bye and Jordan asks a man to take a photo of us in front of his door with none other then his Polaroid camera. And that WAS it.