When I handed my son an envelope he asked, "What's this?" "Open it." He read the outside of the "Congratulations, I'm so proud" card and when he looked inside, read my personal note, and saw the bulk of dollars he said, "Mom, you don't have to do this." "It's not my money, it's yours." As he raised an eyebrow I explained, "Remember when you were young and Grandpa would hand you money, or you got gifts for your birthday, Christmas, whatever and you would ask me to hold it...well I did. I put it in a special envelope with your name on it, and always planned to give it to you when the time was right. Well, now that you're moving to Raleigh, the time is right. Just spend it wisely." And with that, the boy burst into tears. And with that, I burst into tears. We hugged each other tightly and cried on each other's shoulders.
My little boy is no longer a little boy. He's a 22 year old grown man and has moved to another state to better himself. There were no opportunities here in Roanoke to have a bright future, and although it has broken my heart, I supported his decision. He was made an offer he couldn't refuse for a position that normally requires a bachelors degree and five years experience. He might not have either, but his boss realized he does have the smarts (paper unnecessary) and a good work ethic (three alarms clocks are necessary) whereby he would be a great asset to the newly formed analyst team. Although I hate that his company chose to move to Raleigh, I am thankful for the relocation package, salary, and promising future they are providing in a technical computer position where my son's interest lies. I've always drilled into my kids' heads if they work at a job they like, it will never feel like work, and that's when they'll be most happy. His girlfriend is joining him so they can lean on each other during this major transition. I hope they will be happy.
And yes, I cried and cried. If my son was a piece of shit I probably would have been happy he left, but he's not. He truly is one of the most kindest and compassionate souls I've ever met, and I say that not just because I'm his mother. I'll never forget when he was in elementary school and was playing in the fields with other kids. There was a pitiful cry and when the children went to see what it was they discovered a bunny tangled in a temporary plastic fence. While other kids laughed and threw rocks at the poor creature, my son ran to the bunny and released him. He was always that way, always a good soul. He never drank, smoked, or did drugs. He was always a leader, not a follower. I hope he always stays that way. I wish his grandfather was here to witness how he turned out. Grandpa always said he was special.
I'll try not to cry any more. I am happy for his success. I have to let go. I am grateful that he's only three hours away and not stationed in a foreign land, or, tragically gone forever. I am fortunate we have a wonderful relationship and I pray we continue to. Most importantly I pray for his safety and well-being. Please Mother Mary, keep a watchful eye over him...
"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference." - Aristotle
Ain't that the truth!