We moved him into his dorm last Saturday -- which was actually a bit fun. Met his roommate (nice kid, quiet, a bit OCD, as evidenced by the fact that he had his shirts hanging in the closet organized in rainbow order, i.e. Red, Orange, Yellow, etc.). We took the roomie to dinner at an Ethiopian place, which he was game for, but he ended up not eating much. Wasn't sure we got off on the right foot, but I think it turned out okay.
Sunday was pretty tough for me. Aidan took off for the dorm about 3pm, and of course I was too choked up to say much. Bjorn told him we were proud of him and knew he was going to do well, then off he went. And off I went to the bedroom where I cried for a little while, then slept for about 2 hours!
So ... the week has been weird. We definitely miss Aidan a LOT. I did okay on Monday until evening (the time he's normally home), then had a bit of a cry. Woke up Tuesday morning in a VERY bad mood, missing Aidan, feeling acutely the shift in my identity from being the 24/7 Mom to being the long-distance Mom. I was so depressed, and just decided I was going to give in and let myself be a Depressed Empty Nester, but God had other plans.
I opened my Jesus Calling devotional book for the day, and this is what it said:
Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one -- as well as yourself ... When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do.
Well, then! I guess God knew I was going to need that exact devotional on that exact day and had the author write it and assign it to that day for me! It really helped. I definitely still miss Aidan, and sometimes I think, "Okay, the experiment is over, it's time for him to come home now." But even with the sadness and the sort-of grief that he's not right there in his armchair on his computer at the end of the day every day when I want him there, I know this is how things are supposed to be right now. It's a freaking tough adjustment, but God is walking with me (and with Aidan, and with Bjorn) and showing us all the way.
It's been an interesting week for Aidan, too. His first day of classes was yesterday, and his second class started with the professor walking in and saying, "This class is going to teach you to question everything you've ever learned." And one of the first two readings they were supposed to "question" was from the Bible. Aidan was really annoyed by it. I'm not doing it justice in this writing, but it sounded like the professor was definitely anti-Christian. So Aidan decided to drop that class and take a different one. I know he would have been okay in there, he would have probably been able to stand up for his beliefs, etc., but it's much better to not have to deal with a situation like that if it's possible to find an alternative. Since the specific class wasn't required (it was an "undergraduate studies" course -- he has to take a certain amount of those, but the specific ones he takes are up to him), then he felt it was better to just find something else he wouldn't mind as much. I'm very proud of him for making that decision and taking that initiative on his own!
I think it's going to take me a long time to adjust to what the Empty Nest means for me, as I mentioned above. That whole "long-distance mom" thing means my identity is no longer as strongly rooted in the "mom thing" as it used to be, and that's difficult for me. I don't know what's next for me, so I'm in a sort-of holding pattern while I wait for God to show me where I go from here. Obviously I'm still here for Aidan when he needs me, but it's a different kind of "here" than it used to be, so there's a lot of space to fill now, as it were.
Anyway, I don't think I'm doing such a great job of telling all this, but it's oddly very difficult for me to write about it! It's soooo deep and also pretty emotional in many ways, and that's why I haven't even attempted to write about it until today.
Well, Aidan will be home on Saturday, so it will be interesting to see what our interactions will be like now that he's had a little "freedom."
Can't wait to see him!