Monday, August 13, 2012

Endings, Beginnings

     When I first found out my son was going to have to leave for law school as soon as we got back from vacation, I offered to go down to D.C. with him to help him move, but he said no.  My husband, knowing how much it would mean to me, asked him to reconsider, and so on Saturday on the way home from Vermont, I was invited to get up at 5:30 the next morning and make a day of it.
     Did I say yes?  I ask you - Who could say no to this face?

     Not me, that's who.   So I got to visit the new apartment, meet the new roommate, see the once-and-future roommate, and watch in amazement as these three kids managed to calmly juggle: picking up a rental truck; backing it up to a loading dock at the other two's old apartment; getting the entire contents loaded and into the new apartment in less than three hours; signing the lease; picking up Nate's stuff from the storage facility, loading it onto the truck and then unloading it into the new apartment.  Do you have any idea just how many sets of KEYS this entailed, not to mention planning, cooperation, and judgment?  And readers, they pulled it all off.  Efficiently, intelligently, and with exceeding good humor.  So I was able to leave to catch my 5:00 p.m. train home with a peaceful mind, knowing that Nate is in good hands and that there is almost no problem these three couldn't handle together.
     I'm so grateful that my husband thought of this plan, and then persisted with it.  And I'm beyond grateful that, by all indications, Nate is going to find his way in the world and be happy.
     Toward the end of December of 1988, my first husband and I separated.  At the beginning of the following March, I discovered that I was four months pregnant.  (Yeah, I know, it's the question everyone asks: no, I wasn't getting my period, but I chalked it up to the stress of the separation.)  I was ten years out of law school, but had just started a new job and was only beginning to learn how to be a trial attorney.  My father had died many years earlier, and I was estranged from my mother and brother.  To put it mildly, neither my future, nor my baby's, looked remotely promising.
     But we made it, Nathan and I.  Somehow, as a single parent from Day One, in all of my ignorance of what good mothering would even look like, in all of my terror, I managed to blunder my way into doing a lot of things right.   I must have.  Look at him.


  1. You raised a doer, an organizer, an independent thinker with good judgement and people skills. What more could a mom want? Nice post.

  2. Oh, thank you, Genevieve! What a perfect thing to say!

  3. You should be extremely proud of him AND of yourself. The world sometimes hands out lemons. You created a beautiuful batch of lemonade.

    1. THANK YOU, Pam! I really don't go in much for patting myself on the back, but this did seem to me like a worthy occasion for it. I love following your blog! Everything you write about your mom makes me laugh, and a lot of your other posts make me think. Both are good ways to spend one's time.

  4. Susan, this post struck a chord with me, for sure. I, too, am a single mother, though I do have family around.

    I was heavily involved setting up my son when he first started college, and I was concerned about him being responsible, making all his classes, waking up in the morning, etc. He very quickly showed that, once left on his own, he was more than capable :)

    Four years later, when he was going to commute that last year (he went 5 1/2 because he double-majored and minored), he had to be moved out of the house he was living in. It was hilarious, his insistance on me NOT going to help. Susan, I'm going to forward to you the email I sent out to the family and friends who know my son, so they could laugh as I did, at how that went down.

    We have sons to be so proud of :)

  5. YES, WE DO!!! We are some lucky mommas. Thanks, Donna!