Yesterday I dropped off my son at his new home in Colorado. He was excited about his new job and his new life in the Rocky Mountain state. I wanted to change places with him and send him back to Minnesota, so I could start a new life. But I have had my chances and I am starting a new life too, here in the land of 10,000 lakes. This was driven home to me as I went to the grocery store.
I was having all the usual thoughts I have had over the last 19 years my son has been with me. What would he like to eat, wait, he’s in Colorado; what would I like to eat? Hum… well… I can’t think of anything. Let’s just walk the aisles for a while and I’ll figure something out. After one pass, my cart was almost empty. In fact, I had to put the Honey Nut Cheerios and the raman noodles back because I don’t eat them. I had to go through the supermarket again and I did find some stuff; total cost, $34 and one bag.
As I was walking around the store, I thought of how I had planned my meals by what my son would want and what I could eat that would go with that. Would he have any friends over, what time should we eat, etc. Now, how would I plan my meals; how would I plan my life? I could see my usual thought patterns would need to change.
Probably the saddest moment came when I came to the “make your own pizza at home” section. Chef Boyardee has been my savior for all these years (I have had a son or daughter in my house for 39 years). All my kids (and any other kids that were over) always loved my “homemade” pizza. It’s not that easy for a dad to make something himself (mostly) that kids will remember… Now as I stood before the “Chef” section I hesitated. Why was I buying this “pizza kit”? Who is going to eat it? I sort of teared up and felt lost. I took a deep breath, put the “kit” in my cart and said to no one in particular, “I’m gonna invite some people over for pizza.”
I’m really gonna miss my son. We had many sweet times together. I’m super happy for and proud of him. And I’m gonna be okay. I have many great friends and a great community to live in. As they say it takes a village to ripen an old man properly.