It comes in waves, and those waves almost always seem to catch me off-guard: that sense of missing my son Ian after he leaves to go back to school. One would think, with this being his 10th and final (for now?) semester of college as he graduates in May, that I would be used to it by now. But, no.

I do OK for a while, and then one of these almost-palpable waves washes over me and I realize again how much I miss him and how much I enjoy being around him. One smacked me right before dinner this evening, pretty much out of the blue…

Ups and downs

Today, much more than most days, is going to be one of those days of both highs and lows: today marks Li’s 8th birthday (up) and Ian’s departure (down) as he heads back to Norman at the end of his holiday break and for his final semester of college before graduating.

Here we go…

All of these are combining — as they typically do each year — to pile on a good case of the January blues:

  • Li’s birthday is tomorrow. She turns 7. How is this even remotely possible? I can’t believe how fast this past year and, really, all of her life have raced past.
  • Ian heads back to Norman tomorrow morning for the upcoming start of the spring semester of his fourth year of college. Has he really been home for three weeks already? It’s never been easy on any of us when he leaves but the past couple departures have really been hard; this one will be, too.
  • Li goes back to school tomorrow. She’s really excited about this and about her birthday, but also really struggling with Ian’s impending departure. Yesterday was not a good day for her, and the internal tension between her excitement and her sadness was a big part of it.
  • I go back to work on Tuesday (the day after tomorrow), after having been off work for a full three weeks.