I took younger son to the local airport this morning. I asked him if I should just drop him off or go into the terminal with him. Noting that the short-term parking lot was not too crowded, he said why not come in with him. I did, and watched him confidently present his government-issued ID and obtain his boarding passes. I accepted the hug he offered, wished him luck, and told him I'd see him on Wednesday. We shared "love yous" as I felt tears start to roll down my cheeks. "Just a Mom moment," I told him. Having seen them before, he nodded, turned, and headed for the security checkpoint. I turned for the door to the parking lot, not trusting myself to watch him walk away.
Younger son is 20 though within spitting distance of being legal to imbibe. Five months from college graduation, he's sitting comfortably on one good offer of a good job. He's flying to Seattle today, picking up a rental car, and driving to Redmond, where tomorrow he will interview with Microsoft. Tomorrow night, he will red-eye back east, for two class presentations on Wednesday. Thursday, he will apparently (details still being arranged) fly to Mountain View, California for a Friday interview with Google. He'll get home Saturday, to the break he says he's looking forward to more than he has any other.
When did my kid grow up and get so confident and self-assured? I tell myself one moment that I must have done something right along his path through childhood and adolescence and the next moment tell myself that it must have been all his father's doing. I tell myself one moment that I could never have done what he's doing and the next moment remind myself that I did do similar things at a similar age though in a different world and time. One moment I want to hold him close and never let him go or go too far away, and the next moment I can't wait to see what he accomplishes next.
Being a Mom is like that, I guess.