That statement makes me sound like some sort of Sarah Braverman, angsted out over every situation that involves her children. But, truly, this is different.
The root of most everything in my life is my adoption: The physical rejection by my birth mother, the emotional rejection by my adoptive mother, and the sense of being totally alone and adrift in the world, knowing no one with whom I share one drop of blood.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I would joke about not knowing what was going to come out of me. And when my first son was born and began growing and developing, he was the spitting image of his father. He bore no resemblance to me. (As an adult, he does have emotional similarities to me, but they took his lifetime-thus-far to become manifest.)
My second son, born seventeen months later, was an entirely different creature. We bonded hard and strong. We were close in a way I had never been close to anyone. (It didn't change how much love I felt for my first son—it was just different.)
Where my mother had always led me to believe that I was dumb, ugly, and incompetent, with this child I felt wanted and needed.
After the divorce, which occurred when he was five years old, he kept asking to be with me. On the weekends when the boys were with me, I would have them take their baths and put on clean clothes on Sunday evenings before I took them back to their father. I wanted their homecoming to be stressless—change into jammies, read a book, go to bed. An easy transition.
Son Number One readily complied. No problems. Going home.
Son Number Two fought me all the way. He dragged his feet. He sensed not that he was going home, but that he was leaving his home.
As he matured toward adolescence, I could—on each of his visits—see more and more of myself in him. He was darling. He was vivacious, funny, cute. He possessed a charming personality. And if I saw so much of myself in him and he possessed so many wonderful qualities, then was I really so bad? Could my mother's words have been misleading? Could I really have been as horrible a child as she portrayed me to be? For the first time in my life, I felt some self-worth.
When my son was 14, he knew he was mature enough that the courts would consider his desires, so told his father he wanted to live with me.
We had a magical life together. I worked like a dog to provide for him—for us. He went to the boarding school that fulfilled all his dreams. We were—as from his birth—joined at the heart.When my son graduated from college, my husband had just died. My son and his soon-to-be wife moved in with me, saving me from my overwhelming grief and loneliness. Our lives were, from that point fourteen years ago to this past summer, closely intertwined on an—almost—day-to-day basis. For the past three-plus years, we've lived three blocks apart. For the past two-plus years, I've worked for him, helping him with his business.
Then business started having problems and marriage started having problems and he's moving to a city where jobs aren't as scarce as the proverbial hen's teeth.
I know I'll talk to him as frequently as I did when he was three blocks away. And I'll see him almost as frequently. Technology of the ages deems that we are all far more connected than ever before.
But he won't be right here. Around the corner. And so it feels like we're separated. And that brings tears to my eyes.
It doesn't change the worth his life has sprinkled over me like pixie dust. It just feels different.
Who knows what lies ahead?!
I wish him a speedy resolution to the business and financial challenges and a life of renewed happiness.
I won't "see [him] in my dreams." I'll see him on Google+ and Facebook and Twitter and Skype. And every couple of weeks, in person.
Life goes on.