This is a Really Real Parenting Post.
“Are you in another country now?”
Kidlet is 19 years old and he just took a solo trip out of the country. He planned it, got his passport, paid for the tickets, saved up the spending money, and is doing the thing.
“No time for a drink yet, the next flight boards soon.” He’s old enough to drink in Canada and is looking forward to buying his first (legal) adult beverage.
He still has 2 more flights until he arrives at his final destination, some online gaming friends he’s visiting for a few days.
And I couldn’t be prouder.
I was 21 when I made my first trip (mostly) alone, relying on some inheritance to take a road trip from Maryland to Texas. Kidlet riding along in his car seat, still in diapers. The Tarzan soundtrack kept us going through that trip. I belted out “You’ll Be In My Heart” every time it came on, singing it directly from my heart to him, unable to imagine a day that I wouldn’t be right there beside him. I couldn’t begin to see this far into the future.
But here we are.
“What’s your soundtrack for this trip?”
“Ride” (By Twenty One Pilots) “I’ve had that song playing in my head.”
Three years ago, almost to the day, Kidlet and I took a road trip to NY. It was right after Parker died and we just needed to get away. We went to see one of my best friends, also someone I knew from online. When we started I had never heard “Ride” but we spent the trip playing music for each other and it was one that got played often. By the time we were driving back it had become one of my favorite songs. We belted out the lyrics together the whole way home.
“I love you Kidlet.”
“Love you more Mom.”
Love you more isn’t a competition, it means he loves me more than all of the miles and distance between us. It’s a reminder that no matter how far apart we are, we’re still together, we’re still close.
I realize how lucky I am to have this relationship with my son. I’m still not quite sure what I did right or how I did it in the middle of all the things that went wrong for us.
In the midst of our closeness I spent his life letting him stretch his wings whenever I could.
And he sure is using them to fly.