Roller Coaster of Emotions

A couple of weeks ago, two friends and I took our younger kids to Canada's Wonderland. We went down to Toronto on Monday, went to Ripley's Aquarium (it was magical, would go back in a heartbeat), walked around, had dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, spent the night in a weird hotel in Richmond Hill, and hit CW early on Tuesday. A rainy, rainy Tuesday. Like, the forecast started out rainy and got rainier, with multiple chances for thunderstorms. But we were committed, and, like Eve's friend Rachel said, hey, no lines.

So we marched into the (totally empty) park (every person at every checkpoint kept saying "you know there are no refunds, right?")  got sorted with lockers and rain ponchos, marched up to the Leviathan, filed on immediately (because no lines) and started chugging up the long, long, high hill. This was my thought process: "Hang on. I just got on. I wasn't sure I was going to get on. I'm just here because Eve wanted to come. Do I even like roller coasters? Did I ever like roller coasters? Did I just go on them to impress my boyfriend? Am I just doing this to impress my daughter? Or Collette? Perhaps I could have thought about this BEFORE I SAT DOWN IN THE FRONT ROW OF THE BIGGEST FREAKING ROLLER COASTER IN THE PARK?" Regrets, people. I had so many regrets.

So all summer we were preparing for Angus to move to Elmira New York for college. We washed stuff, we ordered stuff, we packed stuff. We went to all the summer action movies (that new Mission Impossible movie was way better than I expected). We went camping with all our friends and had a really great time. We went out for dinner with my parents. We assembled an assload of paperwork.

Then suddenly, here it was. We packed the van. We drove across the border (fairly smooth process that my husband stressed about for two months. The guy at the next desk with his 'simple assault charge' was having a way worse time). We unpacked and carried a bunch of crap up to the third floor of a residence in incredibly sweaty weather. We bought a bunch of stuff at Target (which has so many more different flavours of Oreos than we do, it's SO not fair).

And then... wait. Now we leave him here? He just lives here now? He doesn't live with us? Am I okay with this? Is this what I agreed to? This is the natural order of things. Right. Fine. It's good. It's right. It sucks a little bit. It's a little bit frightening. It makes your stomach feel a little bit weird. But it's also exciting. And hey, we're on this ride now. Might as well throw our hands in the air and embrace it.

(Metaphorically, I mean. Not on the actual roller coaster. There I was clutching that bar for dear life the entire time. Those things are really, really scary.)


Nicole said…
"He just lives here now?" That would be me, totally.

I LOVE roller coasters but you know what I hate? Anything spinning. This isn't a metaphor. I literally love roller coasters and hate spinning rides. Like the teacups! The teacups. I die. I feel like barfing just thinking about it.

PS Glad you're back xoxo
Swistle said…
Maggie said…
Oldest spent about 6 weeks of this summer at overnight camps being a counselor and camper and it was a taste of what it's going to be like when he goes to college in 3 years. And it was . . . a mixed bag. On the one hand, it was so much easier managing only one kid's activities and food preferences and social stuff. On the other hand, I missed Oldest and things felt kind of off and weird. It's going to be a really weird time when he goes away to college and it gone for months at a time.
StephLove said…
You are braver than me. I have two rules for roller coasters these days-- moderate size and it can only go upside down once.
Collette said…
You were incredible that day. I was totally impressed. Full speed ahead, no fear.
But you're utter devotion to your kids is inspiring. I know it's killing you that he's not there. But there's no guilt trips or manipulation that I've seen in others. You just do and say what you know he needs, even when you're pulling apart inside.
Far more impressive than any roller coaster ride.
Lynn said…
Watching you on Facebook go through college dropoff brought me to tears more than once. I always hoped I'd be one of those cool moms who was all, "You're grown now! Go off and be awesome!" while I busied myself with bridge club and going to the gym and coffee dates. But it turns out I am so, so not cool and I know I will be a weepy mess if my children move out any time before they are 30. It is what it is. Hope you are doing okay but if not, you have my full permission to eat all the cake you want and send him text messages every half hour like a stalker. I get it!

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