I never sleep well the night before we head up. I always want to make sure I haven't forgotten anything and I am so excited for those few hours that I get to be part of his world. It's like Christmas morning for mom's... a present waiting to be ripped open and the joy of being a "needed" mom for a few hours is amazing!!
Luckily, Hubby sleeps good, because he is my driver. That is only slightly a joke, I always use that three hour trip as creating time. It controls my inner child that is rattling around my brain chanting "are we there yet, are we there yet??".
Yesterday's project was the start of mom's birthday present, she doesn't read this and I am pretty sure my sisters won't rat me out, but I managed to get 4 inches of her sweater done. The color and texture is out of this world! Soft, cozy, so feminine and appropriately named "February Lady Sweater", the camera does not do it justice, it is a rich lavender not blue.
But I digress... we've arrived... It always starts the same way, a quick text message, "here", followed quickly by an "ok"... that minute it takes for him to come down the stairs is the longest ever. Santa coming on Christmas eve arrives so much quicker! I guess that is simply the mom in me that misses my youngest being around all the time, but each time - after even a week - he seems older and more grown. Which only makes the fact that I am bringing him a collection of Final Fantasy Amigurumi that I have made for his birthday seem that much more ironic.
I could barely stand waiting to see his face,in fact I didn't wait. He knew the Black Mage was coming and that smile of his is just as contagious now as it was when he was a little bug. What he didn't know is that I had finished his Tonberry too, now that smile... WOW!! Mission accomplished! Score one for Mom!
Then it is off to a great little bbq place for lunch, when your child is a physic's major lunch conversation is never dull and I always learn so much! Tesla (my choice of conversation - as I have been learning a bit about it), Faraday (we both have input there) and then on to Newton (and no the cookie isn't named after him!)... Hubby and I always learn a few new things over bbq.
Next stop... groceries! Every college kid needs restocked monthly and the mundane chore is so fun when your kiddo is in 'I need to slow down" mode. Hubby usually finds a reason to disappear by the time we've arrived here. Both of my kids talk quite softly and it's hard for him to hear them is what he tells me. I also think it has a bit to do with giving me some quality mommy time - I always try to do that for him when the girls are around. Yesterday was slow down mode, as we wandered aisle after aisle making sure we planned enough meals to get him through the month, we got to talk about so many things. I cherish that time. My boy and I have always had that kind of relationship and I can remember some really amazing conversations that have happened in the quiet ordinary daily things. The conversations are more adult now, about grown up issues, hopes and dreams, but conversations with him have never been boring!
Once we arrive back at the apartment is when I really get my mommy cup filled. I cherish spoiling my kids, I guess I am just a nurturer, and who better to nurture than my loved ones! After Hubby and I have helped him carry up the groceries and put everything away, it's always schnitzel time. I can always tell if he's in a relaxed mood or rushed then, because if he's in a hurry he will sit at the bar and work on homework while I cook explaining the problem he is working on. But when he's relaxed it is perfect. Yesterday he worked on doing dishes while I cooked his stash of schnitzel, as any mom knows you worry that your baby isn't eating well - even if they are 22. I feel so reassured when I get to make him a big container to heat up over the week. And we talked, nothing earth shattering, just mom and son chatting while doing the normal daily stuff.
My sweet Hubby knows that I crave this, because he just sits there fidgeting with his phone or fixing little things around the apartment grinning at me. He is just as guilty because he always finds a reason to check on the car and make sure all the lights are burning.
We all stall for more time, I will need to clean his bathroom and help him fold the laundry or sweep the floor and run the vacuum, anything to stretch out that few hours. A bit more face time, a few more minutes of conversation. Yes, I know that he is perfectly capable of doing that himself and that he does it himself 3 or 4 weeks out of every month, but for that little bit of time my baby still needs his mommy.... right????
All too soon it's time to drive home, I get as many hugs, kisses and I love you's as I can get, I always insist on at least one picture of the two of us... they never change much, but they are my record of his years at school. Yesterday we took a few minutes to take some pictures of his growing Amigurumi collection, and to chatter a bit more, before it was time to leave and time for him to head off to workout with his friends.
That drive home is getting harder each time.
Urbana time is coming to an end only 3 more trips like that. The one in May will be so different, May will start a brand new chapter. Only one of the grad schools is close, the rest are significantly further away. There won't be monthly trips to be mommy, he will no longer come home for a week or two each summer and Christmas, and I will truly know how it feels to have my youngest leave the nest completely. Hubby's youngest still haven't gone to college, but I am sure their mommy would have a bit of a problem with me scooping them up.
For now... I am going to treasure Urbana time, enjoy each moment... Grad school can wait a few more months!