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Bo(sto)n Voyage, Robert Tom

Sandwiched in between my writing this, and you reading this, is me taking my son to the Oklahoma City airport so he can start a new and wonderful chapter in his life.

This chapter in his life is titled “Tom goes to Boston”, where he will begin working on his Master’s Degree in English next month at the University of Massachusetts.

And I am excited and sad at the same time.

When he left Iowa Park to attend Texas Tech in 2006, we drove three hours to Lubbock in cars loaded up with the things he thought he needed; plus the things I knew he needed – like shower shoes, multi-vitamins, industrial-sized shampoo and body wash, and laundry detergent.

This trip will be much simpler – just a suitcase, a guitar and his laptop. We’re shipping the boxes he packed for his new home when he gets settled. I have no clue what he’s taking with him to Boston, and it doesn’t matter. He can take care of himself, this I know.

But I will miss him. It hasn’t escaped me that there’s a huge logistical difference between a quick trip to Lubbock for the weekend and making a cross-country journey to the northeast. That’s the sad part of how I’m feeling.

More than that, though, I’m proud of him.

I’m proud of him for figuring out what he wants, thinking for himself, taking chances, and working hard. And, for starting his young life out with no regrets.

Another thing that will be different this time is I don’t think I’ll cry most of the way home from the airport like I did when I said goodbye to him to Lubbock.

Instead, I hope I’ll remind myself that I am the one who came up with the policy that no child of mine would be eating Cheetos on my couch when they turn 30.

I’ll remind myself that I’ve always told my kids to do what their heart tells them to do because my wish is for both of them to wake up happy every day of their lives.

And I’ll plan my first trip to Boston.