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It seems like only yesterday, I hope it’s tomorrow, or do I?

September 1, 2008

by Jen Bakken

My oldest son is off in college now. He is only as far away as St. Cloud, but to me, it feels as though he is in another state.

It’s hard to believe he has graduated high school and is in college. It seems like it happened overnight.

I remember when I was pregnant, and the excitement of hearing his heartbeat for the first time, the first kick, the first hiccup and the first ultra sound picture – it seems like only yesterday.

Lately, it’s as though a scrapbook of memories are floating through my mind.

The stuffed bear he called “puppy” and the blanket he called “bunny-boon” have been boxed up and set aside for years now, but the vision of him carrying them will never be set aside.

I remember the silly face he used to make to get us to laugh, and playing hours of floor hockey in our living room – it seems like only yesterday.

When he was four years old, his father and I got divorced, but we have always tried to work together to raise our son.

I can still picture that yellow school bus driving away from us on the first day of kindergarten, and how I cried until he came home. His father and I were both there for that moment and so many more – it seems like only yesterday.

Numerous memories involve hockey rinks, baseball fields, and the Delano Schools.

All of the times we cheered him on, helped with homework, attended school events or conferences and drove him to this or that – it seems like only yesterday.

Those toy trains, Hot Wheels, sports jerseys, trophies, and team pictures are mementos I keep for my little boy.

There are so many things to remember, watching the Mighty Ducks movies over and over, cheering on the Minnesota Wild, and being body checked into the wall by him as he laughed because he grew bigger and stronger than mom – it seems like only yesterday

I remember when he went through driver’s education, got his permit, and the first time I rode with him while wishing there were brakes on the passenger side of the car.

His first solo trip behind the wheel that involved more than just the streets of Delano was a nail biter for me – it seems like only yesterday.

Now, not only has he traveled beyond Delano, but he has left the nest.

Though I still have two children at home and won’t have a true empty nest for ten more years, I am having a hard time with my oldest baby being gone. I can’t wait until he is home for a visit – I hope it’s tomorrow.

All those things that used to drive me crazy now don’t seem so bad.

Like how he would leave dirty dishes laying around or leave wet towels on the bathroom floor. Now I can’t wait to be driven craz – I hope it’s tomorrow.

I’m unable to count how times my son has lost his keys or other things, but he may never admit how many times his father or I have had to rush to his rescue.

Now I anxiously await him needing me – I hope it’s tomorrow.

I have clearly made mistakes over the years, and haven’t been a perfect mother. Someday, I hope he not only understands I did the best I could, but also forgives me – I hope it’s tomorrow.

As an emotional mommy, pride, joy, or sadness can all bring me to tears, and I’m sure he doesn’t understand this.

His annoyance was obvious when I hugged him outside of his dorm room, and he pushed me towards the elevator, but I can’t wait to hug him again – I hope it’s tomorrow.

So far, the bright side to this is that my grocery bill has decreased significantly along with my time in the laundry room.

I’m sure it won’t be long before he walks through the door with a basket full of dirty clothes – I hope it’s tomorrow.

Or do I? It seems like only yesterday I did his laundry, so maybe I don’t hope it’s tomorrow!